Any health expert will tell you that regular exercise is an important part of a good diabetes management plan. When used in conjunction with healthy eating strategies, stress reduction and prescribed medications, exercise can help you live a longer, healthier life. When you exercise, your cells become more sensitive to insulin,making it work more efficiently. Exercise also helps your body’s cells remove glucose from the blood in a unique way that insulin can’t.
It may be easy to squeeze in a nice power walk on a sunny day—but what about when the weather doesn’t agree? Don’t let the wet or cold keep you from moving. Try these easy indoor workout tips so you can stay on track.
Before you begin an exercise routine
Doctors recommend that men and women with diabetes try to get 30 – 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise most days of the week. If you are new to exercise or have other medical conditions, make sure to talk to your doctor before you begin an exercise program and always be prepared to treat swings in your blood sugar that may occur during or after a workout. If you use an insulin pump, you may need to adjust your insulin dosage. Newer insulin pumps allow you to adjust basal dosages in increments as little as 0.001 units at programmed rates ≥ 0.1 units/hr. Ask your doctor what is best for you.
Easy routines you can try
Indoor exercise doesn’t have to be expensive or complicated. Try some of these ideas:
- Fitness bands – These inexpensive stretchy bands can be purchased affordably at any exercise or department store and they’re great for resistance exercises. Build muscle and endurance with a routine that combines squats, arm work and more.
- A chair – Building muscle and strengthening your legs is simple with a sturdy chair. Simply stand up and lower yourself down slowly. If you have the strength, come just above the chair but don’t sit down. Rise to standing again and repeat. If you feel like you’d like to sit, go right ahead. Do your best to hold your back straight, move slowly and let your legs do the work.
- Stairs – Just one step is enough for a great leg workout. Stand on the edge of the step and slowly lower your heels off the step until you feel a stretch in the back of your leg. Then use the ball of your foot to raise your heels up. Repeat. This is a great workout for your calves.
- Dancing – Sure there are lots of trendy exercise videos out there that will help you shed the pounds to fancy routines, but why not just turn on your favorite tunes and get moving with your children, grandchildren or spouse. Have a great time and burn calories!
- Add simple weights – Weight lifting can help strengthen both bones and muscles. Don’t have a set? Try a couple of large cans of food. They will give you just enough of a challenge. Try walking quickly through your house if you have a clear path while you pump your arms up and down.
If you have access to gym or fitness equipment, you may enjoy:
- Peddling on a stationary bike
- Walking vigorously on a treadmill
- Swimming in the gym pool
- Walking on the track
As with any exercise routines, take it slowly at first and always stop if you have pain or feel ill. Steadily increase the number of repetitions and challenge yourself for a successful indoor workout routine. Be sure to talk to your doctor to make sure your exercise plan is right for you so that you can get the most out of your health!