Obviously, it is very important for diabetics to have a very healthy lifestyle. Lifestyle includes your daily activities and how you live your life. Of course, it is important to exercise and eat healthy, but there are other thing that you must be careful about as a Type 2 Diabetic.
First of all, smoking is a no no. Even for a non-diabetic, smoking is extremely detrimental to health. In fact, smokers are 30%-40% more likely to get Type 2 Diabetes than non-smokers. For Type 2 Diabetics, smoking, particularly the nicotine within cigarettes, cigars, tobacco, and nicotine patches is horrible for health. The nicotine raises blood sugar by 34% and increases your chance of heart disease.
Next is alcohol. It is very important for diabetics to always wear an ID identifying them as a diabetic. Initially, alcohol increases blood sugar, but after excess drinking, blood glucose levels can get so low that you develop hypoglycemia. This is one reason not to drink on an empty stomach. If at any time, you feel sleepy, dizzy, or disoriented, ask for help and notify someone that you are a diabetic so they can contact 911 if necessary. When drinking, be sure to drink slowly and mix your drink with water, club soda, or even diet soda. While females should stick to one drink, males can have two.
1 drink = 12 oz. beer
1 drink = 5 oz. wine
1 drink = 1.5 oz vodka, whiskey, or gin
Acting? Singing? Dancing?
No, I’m talking about the triple threat in fitness: aerobics, strength, and flexibility. These are the three types of exercise that are especially important for Type 2 Diabetics. As someone with Type 2 Diabetes, it is important to balance all three forms of exercise.
- 30 MIN A DAY
- 5-7 DAYS A WEEK
- ANYTHING THAT GETS THAT HEART RATE PUMPING
- great for increasing your heart rate and lowering blood sugar
- 20-30 MIN A DAY
- 2-3 TIMES A WEEK
- ANYTHING THAT USES MUSCLES AS A BASIS FOR ACTIVITY
- especially good for Type 2 Diabetics since muscles use up so much insulin and glucose
- push ups
- pull ups
- lifting weights
- 10-20 MIN A DAY
- 5-7 DAYS A WEEK
- ANYTHING INVOLVING STRETCHING
- helps prevent soreness and injury
Increasing physical activity helps speed up your body’s absorption of insulin. While exercising, your muscles contract, they get the energy to do so from glucagon, a form of glucose. In order to really grasp the concept of exercise and commit to it, it’s important to understand the effects of exercise on the body.
- glucagon is created from glucose to give muscles the energy to contract
- more blood is moved to the muscles to deliver the glucagon
- breathing increases from oxygen in the increased blood flow
- muscles tear and heal again to get bigger and stronger
- breathing gets faster and heavier because more oxygen is needed in the body
- VO2 max (max capacity for oxygen use) is increased
- heart rate increases to pump blood filled with oxygen
- routine exercise gets the heart in a routine, and with more “practice” the heart becomes stronger and more “skilled”
- stimulated vessel growth, which decreases blood pressure
- increased blood flow leads to higher functioning brain cells, making you more alert and focused after exercise
- endorphins are released, increasing your mood
- joints are toughened and stronger from adding weight to them
- reduces chance of arthritis
Exercising is very important, especially for Type 2 Diabetics. Exercise is another way for glucose to be used in the body, decreasing the need to add insulin to the body. It is important to get into a routine of exercising for at least 30 minutes a day. You can do one workout, spread several brief workouts out throughout the day, or even increasing general activity like climbing up stairs or walking to local shops, rather than driving.
TIPS & TRICKS
- Keep a pedometer
- people that use pedometers are 27% more active than those that don’t
- helps drop blood pressure
- many have goals of walking 10,000 steps a day (5 miles)
- exercise with friends and hold each other accountable to sticking to your goals
- track your exercise (on an app or in a fitness log)
- reward yourself when you reach goals (make sure your rewards are healthy)
- join an exercise class
- ask your doctor for specific exercises and how frequently to do them, based on your specific health requirements
- test your blood sugar before and after exercising (to see if you need to eat more to avoid hypoglycemia)
Photo from: http://www.globalhealingcenter.com