7 Tips For Getting Started With Exercise for Diabetes

Getting exercise is a crucial part of staying healthy, especially when you are dealing with a chronic disease. It helps not only your physical health, but your mental health as well. Here are some tips on preparing yourself to take the first leap.

1. Start with small goals

You don’t have to wake up and run a marathon. You don’t even have to go running. If it’s what your fitness requires: start by walking. Use a pedometer like Fitbit, Withings Plus or Garmin Vivofit to track your steps. It is generally recommended that you walk 10,000 steps a day to start getting fitter. If you can do that: great. If not: start with as much as you can and gradually increase the distance. Whichever the case, don’t forget that you need to try to extend your comfort zone. When you start getting tired: go a little more!

2. Measure your glucose level

Before you do any exercise, you MUST measure your glucose level. If your blood glucose level is fine, then you start your exercise. Initially try to measure your glucose level often even during exercise, so you get a feel of how your body reacts to it (a CGM is recommended). Log your measurements in an app like laborom so you can see trends in how exercise effects you levels. Also: ALWAYS bring glucagon or any fast acting carbohydrates in case you get a low during your workout.

3. Measure your weight

Your weight is a good benchmark of how well your exercise is effecting your health. Don’t worry if you don’t lose a lot of weight all of a sudden. First your body needs to build muscles to get used to the exercise, and muscle tissue is heavier than fat tissue. You can also track your weight change in laborom and you might want to think about uploading pictures of yourself to the app for each measurement so you can see how your physique is changing over time. Often, even though your weight doesn’t decrease much your shape can improve tremendously.

4. Avoid fast-food

Fast-foods are usually pumped with artificial ingredients which can really mess with your blood sugar levels. Try to eat healthy foods like salads and generally low-carb meals. Whenever you exercise bring your own food so you know perfectly well how your body will react to it.

5. Time, consistency, habit

Probably the first time you go out for a walk or a jog it will be when some time frees up in your calendar and you have nothing better to do. When you finished your exercise and took a nice shower sit down and try to think how you could fit this into your busy schedule at least 3 times a week. Make a game plan and stick to it! Try to form a habit of doing this.

6. Bring a friend

For security, or for company get a friend to join you. Exercising together with someone is always more fun and interesting. They can also help you out if you should need anything. This is especially a good idea while you and your body are still getting used to the workout.

7. Reward yourself

After each exercise treat yourself to something that you would otherwise not do or get for yourself. It doesn’t have to be a big gesture, it doesn’t even have to cost money. You just have to feel better for doing it. This will help with making a workout into a habit.

Do you have your own tips that helped you get started? Is there a pro-tip you can share with the community? Let us know in the comments!

What You Must Know About Diabetes

Diabetes Mellitus is a disease in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin, a hormone that helps the body’s tissues absorb glucose (sugar) so it can be used as a source of energy. The condition may also develop if muscle, fat, and liver cells respond poorly to insulin. In people with diabetes, glucose levels build up in the blood and urine, causing excessive urination, thirst, hunger, and problems with fat and protein metabolism. Diabetes mellitus differs from the less common diabetes insipidus, which is caused by lack of the hormone vasopressin that controls the amount of urine secreted.

Diabetes is most common in adults over 45 years of age; in people who are overweight or physically inactive; in individuals who have an immediate family member with diabetes; and in people of African, Hispanic, and Native American descent. The highest rate of diabetes in the world occurs in Native Americans. More women than men have been diagnosed with the disease.

There are two types of diabetes.In type 1 diabetes, which usually starts in childhood, the pancreas stops making insulin altogether. It is also called insulin-dependent diabetes. In type 2 diabetes, which starts in adulthood (and in some teenagers) the body still makes some insulin. But it doesn’t make enough insulin, or the body can’t use it properly. It is also called non-insulin-dependent diabetes.

Diabetes is detected by measuring the amount of glucose in the blood after an individual has fasted (abstained from food) for about eight hours. In some cases, physicians diagnose diabetes by administering an oral glucose tolerance test, which measures glucose levels before and after a specific amount of sugar has been ingested. Another test being developed for Type 1 diabetes looks for specific antibodies (proteins of the immune system that attack foreign substances) present only in persons with diabetes. This test may detect Type 1 diabetes at an early stage, reducing the risk of complications from the disease.

Once diabetes is diagnosed, treatment consists of controlling the amount of glucose in the blood and preventing complications. Depending on the type of diabetes, this can be accomplished through regular physical exercise, a carefully controlled diet, and medication.

Individuals with Type 1 diabetes require insulin injections, often two to four times a day, to provide the body with the insulin it does not produce. The amount of insulin needed varies from person to person and may be influenced by factors such as a person’s level of physical activity, diet, and the presence of other health disorders. Typically, individuals with Type 1 diabetes use a meter several times a day to measure the level of glucose in a drop of their blood obtained by pricking a fingertip. They can then adjust the amount of insulin injected, physical exercise, or food intake to maintain the blood sugar at a normal level. People with Type 1 diabetes must carefully control their diets by distributing meals and snacks throughout the day so as not to overwhelm the ability of the insulin supply to help cells absorb glucose. They also need to eat foods that contain complex sugars, which break down slowly and cause a slower rise in blood sugar levels.

For persons with Type 2 diabetes, treatment begins with diet control, exercise, and weight reduction, although over time this treatment may not be adequate. People with Type 2 diabetes typically work with nutritionists to formulate a diet plan that regulates blood sugar levels so that they do not rise too swiftly after a meal. A recommended meal is usually low in fat (30 percent or less of total calories), provides moderate protein (10 to 20 percent of total calories), and contains a variety of carbohydrates, such as beans, vegetables, and grains. Regular exercise helps body cells absorb glucose even ten minutes of exercise a day can be effective. Diet control and exercise may also play a role in weight reduction, which appears to partially reverse the body’s inability to use insulin.