A great form of exercise, walking regularly can help control your blood sugar levels and prevent serious diabetic complications in the future. This exercise also has helps reduce weight and reduce body fat, both of which worsen blood sugar levels. Excess body fat worsens the body’s ability to process insulin making one’s diabetic condition worse.
People with diabetes have excess amounts of blood sugar which overtime can cause several complications such as heart problems, kidney damage and nerve pain. Walking regularly helps reduce glucose levels as it is better absorbed by the body during physical activity. Further, for people with Type 2 diabetes that are insulin resistant, walking improves insulin absorption in the body which in turn lowers blood sugar levels.
Apart from directly impacting glucose levels, walking also helps people with diabetes in other aspects which may become problematic in the future. It helps improve blood circulation keeping the heart and organs healthy and also reduces cholesterol levels. Diabetes also brings with it certain long term complications which may worsen if blood sugar is not managed. Walking helps delay and in some cases even prevent these problems. Some of these include, hypertension, muscle and bone strength, heart and cholesterol health, increased energy, healthy moods, better sleep and improved immunity among others.
For people that have been following some form of an exercise routine, including walking in your day should be easy. However, for inactive people, starting a new routine may seem daunting. But don’t worry. Start small and build up your endurance – you don’t have to walk a kilometre on your first day itself!
Care tips before starting a new routine
- Talk to your doctor before starting any new routine. They may be able to help you create a health plan that will be well suited to you.
- Wear a sturdy pair of walking shoes! Leave the flip flops and put on sneakers or walking shoes with a good grip. Use fresh socks each time and make sure to air out your shoes everyday after your walk to avoid any foot infection.
- Carry a bottle of water and some crackers in case of low blood sugar. Be sure to keep yourself well hydrated through the day!
- Don’t be too hard on yourself! Blood glucose levels or your weight won’t drop overnight. Stick with simple goals and work patiently towards them. Don’t put additional stress by expecting too much too fast.
- For a beginner, start small and build your endurance. You don’t have to walk for an hour on your first day. Try for 10 minutes if you can and build it up to at least 30 minutes.
So, put on your sneakers, load up your favourite playlist and just head out to your neighbourhood park. The best part about walking as an exercise is that you don’t have to wait for your trainer or travel a distance to your gym. Just head to the park or walk around your apartment block.