The best way to lower blood sugar levels, lose weight, and feel great – while still enjoying the foods you love – is to stick to a regular exercise plan.
We’re not talking about joining a trendy new health club or spending hours at a time in the gym, though. Getting in regular exercise shouldn’t be a burden on your lifestyle, your pocketbook, or your joints.
Truth is, adopting a consistent fitness routine is easier than you might think. Below are three great options to choose from that you can start doing right now, whatever your fitness level or background happens to be. Adopt one or more of these practices, for a total of at least three exercise sessions per week, and you’ll feel better, look better, and start winning the battle against Type 2 diabetes.
Fit Pick #1: 10-Minute Brisk Walk
The “10,000 steps a day” recommendation is a good benchmark for staying active, but let’s be honest, some days you just don’t have the time to get in all that walking. When that’s the case, a short 10-minute brisk walk will suffice, according to Public Health England (PHE) and the UK’s Royal College of Practitioners via their “Active 10” campaign announced earlier this year.
But don’t worry, “brisk” doesn’t mean super high-intensity; it just means walking a little faster than normal, enough to elevate your heart rate. The free Active 10 app will help you gauge intensity, and it’s available through both the Apple App Store and Google Play.
At only 10 minutes in duration and a moderate intensity, your Active 10 walk can be squeezed in at any time of day without having to change into workout clothes. Do it on your lunch break at work, in the morning before leaving the house, or around dinner time.
To increase the challenge, try doing a few minutes of the walking at a slight incline (uphill) or up a flight of stairs.
Fit Pick #2: Yoga
It’s amazing what a little stretching, deep breathing, and relaxation can do for your health – particularly for Type 2s. Yoga and “mindfulness” in general have been shown to lower blood glucose levels, promote weight loss, and lower risk of heart disease in diabetics, as detailed in this EverydayHealth.com article.
Most gyms offer yoga classes, and specialized yoga studios are everywhere now. But if you’d rather practice your mindfulness at home and at a minimal cost, consider one of these popular online yoga classes.
Need a yoga mat? Here’s a good one at VitaminShoppe.com.
Fit Pick #3: Dumbbell Workouts
Strength-training is one of a Type 2’s greatest tools for increasing insulin sensitivity, lowering blood sugar, and even losing weight.
Intimidated to pick up heavy barbells or venture into a crowded weight room? Then don’t do either. Get a pair of light dumbbells for anywhere from $15-$45 on Amazon and do workouts at home. Glucose Zone has tons of great (and free) dumbbell workout videos to choose from that were designed specifically for diabetics of all fitness levels.