Walking is an easy and low-impact exercise that everyone can practice no matter what age they are. This form of training has been known to have several benefits related to diabetes. Here is what you need to know about the benefits of walking associated with diabetes.
Walking is the simplest form of exercise. No matter how tired you feel, you shall always have the energy to walk around for a few minutes or an hour. If you have diabetes, it is imperative for you to exercise because your body utilizes the glucose in your body to provide energy. So, if your blood sugar levels are high, walking can help use that sugar to form energy, which is further utilized in walking, thus lowering the sugar levels in the bloodstream. To see how much effect walking has on your body, you can measure your blood sugar level every day for around two months and see the difference it makes.
Weight gain and obesity can be the major factors for high blood sugar levels in the body. So, it is vital to keep your weight under control if you want to battle the side effects of diabetes on your body. Walking for an hour every day helps burn calories and control your weight in a better way. Although weight loss depends on various other factors like age, weight, and certain health conditions, burning calories can be a start to managing weight and diabetes.
If you have diabetes, it makes you more prone to cardiovascular diseases. So along with your blood sugar levels, it is crucial to monitor your heart health. Walking is an aerobic exercise that ensures that your heart strengthens. Also, this helps in reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are directly responsible for your cardiovascular health.
Stress is one of the major factors that cause high blood sugar levels. Also, the management of the symptoms of diabetes and the side effects that come along with it can cause stress to increase. However, exercising helps release endorphins, which make you feel happy and good. They are stress-relieving hormones that help you feel better and enhance your mood. Exercises such as walking can be a great help for people who have diabetes because diabetic people are more prone to become depressed and feel anxious due to their medical conditions.
High sugar levels can cause many complications in various parts of the body, including your eyes, feet, teeth, heart, and more. So, it is essential to check the blood sugar levels so that these complications can be avoided. Walking is one of the best ways to do it. Since walking keeps a check on your diabetic condition, the damage high sugar levels can have on your blood vessels and nerves diminishes and lowers the risk of various complications in the body.
Any routine to build up requires practice and determination. If you assume that you will be able to commit to a routine of 10,000 steps from the very first day, it is not possible. You need to be patient and slowly and gradually build a walking ritual one day at a time.
One way to start walking to control diabetes is to engage yourself in moving between your work schedule during the day. For instance, instead of sitting continuously for hours at your work desk, you can take a breather for 15 minutes and, during the time, walk around your office space or at home to keep your body active. If your office is close to your home, you can walk there instead of taking a conveyance. Little steps like stairs instead of using a lift can also be helpful. This makes your body ready to get into exercising mode and warms you up for a more fledged workout routine, even if it is walking 10,000 steps a day.
Other things that can keep you motivated include finding a walking partner. Sometimes people give up on exercising because of boredom. So, if you have a partner cheering you or motivating you to continue the journey, it will be hard for you to give up.
Also, you can always use your smartphone in various ways to keep yourself entertained while walking. Give a call to your friends, family members, relatives, and check up on them during your walking routine. This way, you won’t even realize that you have walked a good number of steps.
Music also helps to keep you motivated. Create a playlist that will keep you engaged, and that way, you will start enjoying your routine.
Yes, walking has great benefits for diabetes management, but walking alone cannot control the side effects of the disease. Along with walking, you need to follow a proper diet plan and consume meals in the right portions and time to ensure that your blood sugar levels can stay in control. Following proper medication is also very important if the symptoms of the disease require it.
It is important to consult with a professional to understand what other things you need to introduce in your lifestyle along with walking every day. At Diahome, you can get consultation related to your diabetic condition right at your home. Just download the Diahome application on your smartphone to connect with a consultant, dietician, and nutritionist and get a prescription for diabetic medication as well.
Mrs.Sripriya Ravi, M.Sc, Senior Dietitian
Miss. Priyadharshini M.Sc, Dietitian