Regular exercise benefits EVERYONE, keeping our muscles and joints strong, lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and keeping the heart healthy. For people with diabetes, exercise also lowers blood glucose levels and level of insulin resistance. Insulin resistance is a condition in which muscle, fat, and liver cells do not respond properly to insulin.
Whether you have been sedentary for several years or contemplating a new fitness program, getting started may seem overwhelming. Considerations such as health, safety, time constraints, and doing the “right” exercises must be factored in. High blood pressure and certain diabetes complications make some activities inadvisable, so get a checkup with your physician before starting a formal exercise regime or increasing physical exertion levels.
Once you have seen your doctor and know you’re physically ready, consider some of the following books to get you mentally motivated to start a sensible program:
- Diabetic Athlete’s Handbook—Your Guide to Peak Performance by Sheri R. Colberg, Phd, is a book written primarily for athletes with diabetes, but includes tips for beginning exercisers, too.
- Small Steps Big Rewards—Walking Your Way to Better Health by the American Diabetes Association, is a book focusing on walking for better physical health.
- The “I Hate To Exercise” Book For People With Diabetes by Charlotte Hayes, MMSc, MS, RD, CDE is a book for people who dread exercise. It gives guidance on fitting exercise into everyday life.
- The American Physical Therapy Association Book Of Body Maintenance And Repair by Marily Moffat, PT, PHD, FAPTA and Steve Vickery provides anatomical information and care tips for various body parts. It also focuses on injury prevention and endurance. It includes over 200 illustrated exercises.
- Action Plan For Diabetes—Your Guide to Controlling Blood Sugar by Darryl E. Barnes, MD uses a holistic approach to balancing nutrition, lifestyle, and exercise in a diabetes treatment plan. Many photographs illustrate the correct ways to stretch and perform resistance exercises.
As you can see, you have options and support for attaining or maintaining a fit and fabulous body, even with diabetes!
Guest Blogger and Fitness Enthusiast