10 Ways to Get Some Fun Movement Without It Feeling Like a Workout
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 your diabetes. 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 those post-meal sugar spikes because your muscles start to take in glucose (preventing it from being in the blood!). Super cool, right? Other benefits of increased physical activity include feeling happier, stress reduction, improved sleep, weight loss, and improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol. Before starting any physical activity program, make sure it is approved by your physician. It is also important to monitor your blood sugars, get plenty of fluids, and not workout on an empty stomach to prevent any episodes of hypoglycemia.
The warmer months are upon us which makes it easier to get outside and be active (while also getting a little vitamin D!). The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic physical activity each week. We can break that down to about 30 minutes each day (or two 15-minute movements sessions). Increasing your heart rate also helps to use insulin more effectively. There are many ways to incorporate movements into your daily routine that don’t make it seem like a chore:
- Take the stairs whenever possible
- Take your pet for a brisk walk around the block
- Dance in the kitchen while making dinner
- Mow the lawn (well, this is a chore)
- Take a conference call with your headphones and pace around your office or walk outside if 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
- During your nutrition chats with your Pendulum Dietitian, pop in your headphones and go for a walk while learning about microbiome nutrition!
- Pop your ipad on a treadmill and watch your favorite show while getting some steps in
The hardest part about incorporating physical activity into your day is actually getting started. Here are the top 3 tips on how to jump (no pun intended) start your movement:
- 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. If you hate swimming, don’t set a goal to swim five days a week. If you hate running, try biking or walking. Find something that brings you some joy so you will look forward to doing 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.
Lastly, it is important to give yourself grace. Life is hard (especially these days). Every bit of movement counts! Now more than ever there are so many “at home” options available to make movement more accessible and fun. If going to a gym or being outside is not a possibility for you, spend some time on the internet looking for online exercise videos that interest you! Keep track of your accomplishments and celebrate your success.