Keep Yourself Moving!

This article was written by Canadian Diabetes Association, a proud member of the Live Right Now Advisory Board.

Regardless of age, making the decision to become more physically active is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself and the people who love you. Well-known health benefits include weight loss, stronger bones, improved blood pressure control, lower rates of heart disease and cancer as well as increased energy levels.

Regular exercise also has special advantages if you have type 2 diabetes. Regular physical activity improves your body's sensitivity to insulin and helps manage your blood glucose levels.

Here are some guidelines to get you started:

1. Increase physical activity in your day and reduce sedentary time.
Choose active options when you can, such as taking the stairs or gardening. Limit TV or recreational computer use to no more than two hours per day and reduce, or break up the time you spend sitting.

2. Begin regular physical activity.
At least every second day, do activities like brisk walking, cycling or swimming for at least 10 minutes at a time.

3. Begin regular resistance exercise.
With the help of a qualified exercise professional, diabetes educator, or exercise resource (such as a video or brochure) learn how to do a muscle strength building routine using weight machines, free weights (such as lifting a barbell or dumbbell), resistance bands or your own body weight. You will need to work most of the muscles in your body with eight to 10 different exercises at a light to moderate intensity.

4. Continue to do regular aerobic exercise.
Do at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week, spread over three separate days. Don't go for more than two days in a row without exercise. Gradually increase the time of your activity sessions and try to increase the intensity or challenge.

5. Continue to do regular resistance exercise.
Continue using weight machines or free weights, and working most of the muscles in your body with eight to 10 different exercises, at a light to moderate intensity.

Remember to speak with your healthcare team to ask questions or advice.

To learn more about the physical activity and exercise guidelines, visit this link.

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