Developing healthy eating habits is key to controlling diabetes, but if you’re not combining diet with exercise, your blood sugar-and waistline-could end up back at square one. If you think chores such as washing the floor are a waste of time, we’ve got news for you! Try using these simple tips and tricks to incorporate exercise into your daily routine; it’s much easier than you think!
Being active doesn’t have to mean hitting the gym. Walking, dancing and pickup sports are great ways of getting physical and having fun.
1. The Forward-by-Five Walking Plan
Walking belongs at the core of your activity plan. Why? Because it’s an ideal way to get your body moving. Studies find that walking lowers blood sugar even more effectively than other forms of exercise, partly because it engages your muscles for sustained periods of time, which keeps demand for blood-glucose high.
Your goal: walk at least five times a week, starting with 10 minutes per day. This is a perfect starting point and is ideal for people who are not used to regular physical activity; couch potatoes rejoice – this is your chance! Add five minutes to your daily routine each week in order to keep your body working harder and avoid the exercise plateau.
2. Build in Wild-Card Days
Walking five days a week is a great way to get into shape. But what do you do on the other two days? Anything but nothing. Don’t think of these two days as a vacation from exercise, uses them as wild-card days, where anything goes as long as your body is moving. You could do anything from gardening or mopping the floor to playing with your children or grandchildren; some have even started a new hobby such as ballroom dancing or light martial arts. The point is: keep busy!
3. Sugar-Busting Workouts
While your new walking routine can improve your cardiovascular health, toning and building your muscles is also hugely important in the fight against high blood sugar and diabetes. Even when you’re not moving, bigger, denser muscles need more energy, which means they burn more calories and siphon more glucose out of the blood. Using these examples of sugar-busting exercises, you can improve your muscle tone in just ten minutes each day.
Wall Push: Rather than performing push-ups lying on the floor, do them standing up against a wall with your palms resting on the wall at shoulder level.
Airplane: Stand with your feet hip-width apart (if this position is uncomfortable, sit down). Exhale and raise your arms out to the side, level with your shoulders, palms down. Hold this pose for 60 seconds.
Wall Slide: Stand with your back pressed firmly against a wall from your shoulders to your tailbone with your feet about one foot forward. Bending your knees, let your back slide down the wall until your knees form a 90-degree angle (as when you sit in a chair). Hold this pose as long as possible, then take a small break and repeat four times.
Sit-ups or Crunches: This never-fail workout allows to you engaged your abs regardless of how many repetitions you do. Crunches, which are basically a smaller version of sit-ups, are ideal for people with back strain and poor form.
4. 10 Easy Ways to Burn 100 Calories
The bottom line is that no matter how we do it, toning muscles and burning more calories are very important for controlling blood-sugar levels. Sometimes, we don’t even realize how many calories our daily chores and activities eat up. Feel better about your daily routine by finding out that you easily burn 100 calories by doing:
- 9 minutes of brisk walking
- 10 minutes of swimming the backstroke
- 12 minutes of playing baseball
- 13 minutes of washing floors
- 14 minutes of playing golf
- 15 minutes of dancing
- 16 minutes of table tennis
5. Everyday Ways to Boost Calorie Burning
In addition to your daily walking routine and muscular workout, the best thing you can do for your health and well-being is to become more active every chance you get. Check out these easy ways to burn a few extra calories: Running an errand nearby? Take the family and get walking instead of taking the car. In airports: Walk around the terminal while waiting for your flight and avoid the moving sidewalk. During TV commercials: Get up off the couch