Two types of physical activity are most important for managing diabetes: aerobic exercise and strength training. Meditation and isometric activities such as yoga or Pilates are beneficial in stress reduction, and could help with core strengthening thereby reducing risk of falls.
Before starting an exercise program, please consult with a medical expert such as your primary care physician or cardiologist. They may have restrictions or recommendations about your exercise program.
Aerobic exercise helps your body burn carbohydrates and fat energy while it builds muscle. It also helps strengthen the heart and bones, relieves stress, improves blood circulation, improves mood and stimulates insulin to work better. If done regularly, aerobic exercise reduces your risk for heart disease, improves blood glucose levels, body weight, and may lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
We Recommend: Aiming for 30 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intense aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week or a total of 150 minutes per week. Spread your activity out over at least 3 days during the week and try not to go more than 2 consecutive days without exercising.
Note: Moderate intensity means that you are working hard enough that you can talk, but not sing, during the activity. Vigorous intensity means you cannot say more than a few words without pausing for a breath during the activity.
If you haven't been very active recently, you can start out with 5 or 10 minutes a day. Then, increase your activity sessions by a few minutes each week. Over time, you'll see your fitness improve, and you'll find that you're able to do more.
If you are just starting out, you may want to check out our starting walking plan.
Find the Time
If your busy schedule doesn't allow you to exercise for a 30-minute period during the day, you have the option to break it up into bouts of 10 minutes or more. Research has shown that the health benefits are similar when you do this!
For example, you might take a brisk 10-minute walk after each meal. Or you could try doing 15 minutes of aerobics in the morning before work and another 15 minutes when you get home.
If you are trying to lose weight and keep it off, most people need to do closer to 60 minutes of aerobic exercise per day.
Below are some examples of aerobic activities:
Strength training (also called resistance training) makes your body more sensitive to insulin and can lower blood glucose. It helps to maintain and build strong muscles and bones, reducing your risk for osteoporosis and bone fractures.
The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn – even when your body is at rest.
Preventing muscle loss by strength training is also the key to maintaining an independent lifestyle as you age.
We Recommend: doing some type of strength training at least 2 times per week in addition to aerobic activity.
Below are examples of strength training activities:
Want to take a step towards better health?
Exercise is a wonderful option
Local exercise options are:
Check with your insurance company to see if you are eligible for Silver Sneakers Program at the YMCA.
Marks Street Senior Center
99 E Marks Street
Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 254-1066
Renaissance Senior Center
South Econ Community Park
3850 S Econlockhatchee Trail
Orlando, FL 32829
Phone: (407) 254-9070
Orlando Magic Gymnasiums: http://www.orlandomagicocflgyms.net/
Jessie Brock Senior Center Winter Garden: http://www.cwgdn.com/resident/recreation/brock/
Check AARP for local exercise programs
Check church bulletins which will probably offer activities for a group specific to your liking.
Updated by Maria Ines Marulanda, Clinical Research Coordinator for Endocrine Associates of Florida-Ocoee.
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