Did you know that physical activity increases your body's insulin sensitivity?
Insulin is the key hormone in controlling your blood sugar, which helps to better manage diabetes and other metabolic diseases.
Physical activity—or movement as we like to call it—also helps to naturally control your blood sugar levels, and can decrease your risk for heart disease.
Even just a 20 minute walk after a meal can help with reducing post-meal blood sugar spikes because your muscles start to take in glucose (preventing the sugar from being in the blood!).
Other benefits of increased physical activity include:
- Feeling happier
- Stress reduction
- Improved sleep
- Weight loss
- Improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol
Before starting any physical activity program, make sure it's approved by your physician.
It's also important to monitor your blood sugars, get plenty of fluids, and not work out on an empty stomach to prevent any episodes of hypoglycemia.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity each week.
You can break that down to a little over 20 minutes each day. Totally doable, right?
There are many ways to incorporate movements into your daily routine that don’t make it seem like a chore:
- Take the stairs when possible
- Take your pet for a walk around the block
- Dance in the kitchen while making dinner
- Take a conference call with your headphones and pace around your office or walk outside if you're able
- Go for a swim with your family and friends
- Play frisbee in the backyard or local park
- Go for a casual walk on your lunch break
- Pop your ipad on a treadmill and watch your favorite show while getting some steps in
- Find a friend or family member to be your accountability partner. Exercise is more fun when you have someone to do it with AND to make sure you show up!
- Choose something you like. This is obvious, but if you choose an activity you genuinely like you're more liable to do it.
- Set realistic goals. If you live a pretty sedentary life right now, don’t set a goal to work out for 60 minutes, 7 days a week. Start small and gradually increase your movement over time. Of course, always discuss your activity goals with your healthcare provider.
Every bit of movement counts! Now more than ever there are so many “at home” options available to make movement more accessible and fun.
Most importantly, keep track of your accomplishments and celebrate your successes.