Exercise for Blood Sugar Regulation (Healthy Aging Learning Series) Health Coaching Session March 2017
A lot of information is available on relationship of exercise and blood sugar, from bio-physiology reviews, scientific research reports, clinical studies, sport medicine, nutrition and health magazines, as well as personal data and testimonials. These data analyses may have a variety of limitations, but findings are mostly consistent, which suggest exercise/physical activities lower blood sugar level and benefit overall health.
Physical activity is a non-drug treatment for blood sugar regulation, which is proven to be safe and effective. It also has the added benefit for psychological wellbeing. In our modern society today, everyone is at risk for diabetes because of our prolonged sedentary behavior, over nutrition, and inactive life style. Preventive actions are to be taken as early as possible. Exercise is free for everyone - just do it, and most importantly, regularly. It’s never too late to get started or up for a new challenge.
Here are few facts to share new ideas and suggested acts for what you may try:
Fact A - in Prediabetes/Overweight/Obese population, A 2007 analysis, which included five studies examining walking and the risk of type 2 diabetes (data from a staggering 301,221 people), found that those who walked regularly (about 20 minutes per day) had a 30% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who did almost no walking at all.
Act – walk a mile within 20 minutes a day. Outdoor walks are with added physiological benefits and nature intensity. This should be an easy target to achieve, as long as you are committed. You may increase the duration and intensity gradually. Note: Avoid work out on empathy stomach to prevent low blood sugar episode.
Act: if you can’t do too much at one time, break it down. Small steps add up. A 15-minute activity fun at a time is very doable. Make a habit not to sit down after meals but keep the body up and active for a while, which will also regulate the post-meal high blood sugar to double the benefit. Activity may include mild to moderate walking, biking, yoga, Taichi, aerobics, strength training, or anything of your choice.
Act: Get out of your comfort zone and push it harder, challenge yourself for a higher intensity, in short excursions. This is also a strategy to break the weight loss plateau. However, it is important to monitor your body for safety. If you have heart or other serious conditions or limitations, interval training may not be appropriate for you.
Action items review: A. Target walking a mile within 20 minutes a day. B. Try three 15 minutes exercise a day after each meal for better control of post-meal high blood sugar. C. Try interval training, do the best you can based on your physical conditions.
On the other hand, reduce daily sugar intake is a must for diabetes prevention. If calorie count is too much for you, first to cut down on sweets and desert, as well as alcohol and soft drinks, as a conscious decision.
The take home messages 1. Do something (what you can do) is better than nothing. Establish and stick with your daily exercise routine. 2. Make a conscious effort to reduce daily sugar intake. 3. Keep a fitness diary to track and review intake, activity level, frequency, duration, and results.
Disclaimer: This information is for educational and informational purposes only. It is not medical advice. Consult your healthcare professional for personal conditions.
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