Get a Move On, Listen to Music and Control Diabetes

For many people, the thought of exercise brings back memories of the hundreds of jumping jacks, pushup, laps and other calisthenics they were forced to do in school. But when you were playing stickball with friends or shooting hoops or speeding down the street on a bike, you were having fun. That may be the key to getting your move on—it’s got to be enjoyable.

In a recent study published in the journal, Psychology of Sport and Exercise researchers monitored the brain’s activity during physical activity. Participants in the study walked 400 meters at a speed of their choosing under three conditions: listening to Happy by Pharrell Williams; listening to a podcast of a TED talk, and listening to no sound.

At the end of the study, the researchers found that listening to music while walking led to a 28 percent increase in enjoyment compared with walking with no music, and 13 percent more enjoyment for those listening to music, compared with listening to the podcast. The researchers concluded that music leads to a more positive emotional state where you are less likely to think about the exercise and more likely to focus on the music or podcast.

Physical activity is an integral part of managing your blood glucose—also called blood sugar, level and staying healthy. It can lower your blood glucose levels, blood pressure, and bad (LDL) cholesterol while increasing your good (HDL) cholesterol.

It improves your body’s ability to use inulin, which might allow you to decrease the amount of medication you need. It lowers your risk of heart disease and stroke—both of which are disease risks among people with diabetes. It burns extra calories so you can keep your weight down if needed, improves your mood and may help you sleep better.

So what activities should you include to get all those benefits? The American Diabetes Associations recommends four categories of exercise—being extra active every day, aerobic exercise, strength training and stretching. You should try to get a little of each into your weekly exercise plan.

Add extra activity to your daily routine. If you have