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Diabetes and Exercise

Archive for the Exercise Category

Plan Your Diabetic-Friendly Exercise Routine

Plan Your Diabetic-Friendly Exercise Routine

Plan Your Diabetic-Friendly Exercise Routine

It’s All in the Mind

We often make promises to ourselves that begin with the purest of intentions to see through to completion, but for one reason or another we often end up not exactly fulfilling or maintain consistency in our plan of action.  A New Year’s resolution would be a prime example of this, usually entailing something along the lines of weight-loss, diet, or increased physical activity.    So why is it that we constantly need to re-affirm these goals so adamantly only to find ourselves coming up short on our intended results?

Well it may sound a bit cliché, but it’s actually all in the mind as it were, specifically perception, the way we look at any given thing can make or break our most ambitious of plans.  The mind is an infinitely complex labyrinth still holding many mysteries, but it can also be your most powerful asset, simply by learning how to shape the way you think about things.  Even the suggestive power of language can help shape our thoughts and merely changing a few words and the images they conjure up can be a great way to begin in your journey into a healthy lifestyle and fitness discipline.

Diabetes-Friendly Exercise

Mix it Up!

There has always been a debate about what is more beneficial, cardio or weight training?  I tend to believe that they both possess great benefits in different aspects for your health, strength, and endurance so a varied approach is optimal.   Studies have shown that normally sedentary people with type 2 diabetes who engaged in a mixture of aerobic (cardio) and resistance training (weight lifting) tended to have lower blood sugar levels after 9 months than those that only focused on one type of training in the same amount of time.

 Resistance Training (Weight Lifting)

Weight Training

While cardio workouts strengthen the heart muscle and all it’s supportive tissues and organs, strength training or weight lifting builds the muscles you utilize during the act of lifting.  These muscles include but are not limited to abdominals, legs, arms, and chest and tend to utilize sugar in the form of glucose more efficiently, which can lead to improved blood sugar control and lowered insulin resistance.  Also, resistance training has been known to control high blood sugars by increasing your metabolic rate (your metabolism) for days after the workout, even while you sleep (which is  just as important for recovery).

So while you don’t need to reach fitness model levels of fitness, consistency and moderation can improve strength and blood sugar over time.  Be mindful of your form while lifting weights as improper techniques can lead to sometimes serious injuries.  If you are just starting out always start slow with low weights to develop proper posture while executing your lifts.  Visit your local gym for classes or even a personal trainer to teach you how to perform some basic moves and work out efficiently with weights.

Cardio Training

Aerobic Training (Cardio)

It is not necessary to utilize a treadmill to get a great cardio workout, so long as you can get your heart-rate up to 60-80% your maximum heart-rate you will usually “work-up a sweat” and reap the benefits of a stronger cardiovascular system.  Remember to always consult your healthcare service provider to determine a safe heart-rate zone to get up to, since endurance levels can vary greatly from person to person based on their medical history.  A general rule of thumb I’ve always used though is to estimate your target heart rate at 220 minus your current age for a basic approximation.  Don’t feel the need to join a gym either, many activities can get your heart-rate going either at home or nearby.  Things like walking the dog, taking the stairs instead of the elevator and parking at the far end of the lot can help promote physical activity throughout the day.


While maintaining your custom fitness regimen, don’t forget to frequently keep your eye on your blood glucose levels as beginning an exercise routine can cause hypoglycemia.  Sometimes adjusting with more frequent snacking and dosage in medication is necessary to compensate for the added energy consumption throughout your day.  Always play it safe, stay healthy!

For more information on this subject read more here.


Ways to Stay Healthy with a Desk Job

Ways to Stay Healthy with a Desk Job

Ways to Stay Healthy with a Desk Job.

Physical inactivity, especially sitting for long periods, has been linked to increased mortality rates second only to smoking, according to research from the American College of Sports Medicine.

For those that reported sitting for more than 23 hours per week combined, there was a 64 percent greater chance of dying from cardiovascular disease than those who said less than 11. The American College of Chest Physicians even found a link between sitting at home during leisure time and suffering poorer sleep and decreased attentiveness during work the next day.

Although it is impossible to negate the effects of long hours of sitting entirely, there are many things that the average worker can do to help, according to Lifehack. First, plan to break up the day into 30-to-60 minute chunks, separated by a short walk, stretch, or other activity. Finding ways to walk at work could be as simple as having a walking meeting or bringing in a standing desk or even a cutting-edge treadmill desk. There are simple stretching routines that can be performed unobtrusively in an office that can reduce neck and back pain by 72 percent, according to studies at the Wheeling Jesuit University.

Good practices like parking far away from the office, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or even walking or biking for your commute can add movement to the day. Take care to schedule lunchtime so that you won’t be forced to grab unhealthy food or eat sitting at your desk instead of taking a real break. Drinking plenty of water will not only provide other health benefits, but it will also give you a reason to stand up and move around more often as you go to the restroom and refill your bottle. After work, several health-minded coworkers could even get together for athletics or group workouts as an alternative to sitting at home.

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Yoga or therapy may help back pain

Yoga or therapy may help back pain

Yoga or therapy may help back pain

If you suffer from chronic low back pain, you might be desperate for some sort of solution to the debilitating condition.

Chronic low back pain is a widespread problem. According to WebMD, Americans spend over $50 billion each year on back pain. About 80 percent of the population will experience a back problem at some time in their lives.

There has been a lot of publicity touting the benefits of yoga and physical therapy for back pain relief, especially as doctors move away from painkillers as a solution.

But a recent study suggests aching consumers shouldn’t expect complete relief.

The study results showed that both yoga and physical therapy help some people some of the time, but they don’t work for everyone and the pain relief was not perfect.

According to the June 2017 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, 320 patients with persistent back pain were assigned either yoga, physical therapy or educational instruction on managing back pain.

After 12 weeks, about 48 percent of the yoga group had a ‘clinically meaningful’ improvement in their pain. The same was true for 37 percent of physical therapy patients. The study’s authors said the difference between the yoga and physical therapy results were not statistically significant and both therapies appeared to make some difference during a year’s time.

In an editorial accompanying the study, one of the authors, Dr. Stefan Kertesz of the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine, cautioned on overselling yoga as a solution. “The reality is, yoga was not a panacea for most of these patients.”

If you want to try yoga for your back, be sure you take a beginner’s class with gentle poses aided with chairs..

How Lower Back Pain is Improved by Exercise

How Lower Back Pain is Improved by Exercise

Exercise helps lower back pain, experts say

Most people suffer from lower back pain at one point or another, but treating it remains hit and miss.

Research reported by Reuters says that 80 percent of all people will suffer from some sort of back pain during their lives.

An estimated 90 percent of all chronic pain sufferers are prescribed opioid pain medications for treatment. Although they may work as a treatment for a short period, opioids don’t work in the long-term and can also cause a host of negative side effects.

Exercise can help with pain.

The most important areas to target for lower back pain are, perhaps unsurprisingly, located near the lower back. These include the back extensors, deep core stabilizers, glutes, and abdominals. Secondary areas include the upper leg muscles as they act as support structures for the back.

According to Prevention Magazine, target the back with the half lunge, stretching, basic yoga like the child’s pose, and strength training movements like the squat.

Using the squat as an example, this exercise helps to stabilize and strengthen the whole body and helps prepare the body for actions that would typically cause back pain like picking up a child or lifting a heavy box. If the muscles are strong and secure, there is much less chance of an injury.

The best part of these methods is that in many cases all of these routines can be performed for free and in the comfort of your home.

According to popular fitness blog Greatist, back-strengthening exercises, breathing, and yoga all work to prevent the weaknesses that can come from modern society’s increasingly sedentary lifestyle.

Performing these movements also helps the body to tolerate more activity as it ages which can contribute to longer lifespans with longer periods of health.

Often times, using a back brace can help you reduce that constant pain. Find out more about available back braces here.

Seniors Swim Their Way To Health

Seniors Swim Their Way To Health

Seniors Swim Their Way To Health

High blood pressure, bad balance, arthritis — these are common problems for seniors.

Still, all the experts say you should get out there and exercise.

If traditional exercise just hurts, why not try swimming?

Swimming is the ideal exercise for people with joint and muscle pain. The buoyant water takes the pain out of much exercise. Even walking in the water is good exercise and much less painful than pounding the pavement.

It improves balance. Joel Stager, director of the Counsilman Center for the Science of Swimming at Indiana University’s School of Public Health, told Senior Planet that older swimmers have much better balance than their non-swimming contemporaries.

Not only that, but their muscle mass is better maintained and they have fewer cardiovascular risk factors than non-swimmers.

In fact, according to Cardiovascular Aging Research Laboratory at the University of Texas at Austin, swimming is very effective at lowering blood pressure.

If you are ready to start your swimming program, start small. Some public pools have pool walking classes. Or you might just start by swimming as far as you can, then resting, then starting again. Your stamina will build up over time.

When it does, you’ll have the meditative experience of immersion in a blue world.

These days you can even customize that world with waterproof music headphones and fitness bracelets to count your movements.

Hair tip for swimmers

According to New York City journalist Stacy Horn, a committed swimmer, you can minimize the effects of chlorine on your hair this way. Before swimming, wet your hair, cover it with conditioner and wear a bathing cap.

Get Moving

Get Moving

Get Moving

For better health: Get up, stand up, move around

Researchers are studying the negative effects of sitting for extended time periods, both at the office and by the TV.

Dr. Allan Hedge, a professor at Cornell University, says for every half-hour working in an office, people should sit for 20 minutes, stand for eight minutes and then move around and stretch for two minutes.

Health experts, including Dr. Hedge, have guidelines that say people should get a combined two to four hours of standing and light activity spread throughout the workday. And research from NASA, reported in The Wall Street Journal,  shows that standing up to two minutes 16 times a day while at work is an effective strategy for maintaining bone and muscle density.

Scientific evidence shows that when people have occupations in which they are on their feet for more than two hours a day, there is a reduction in the risk of developing key chronic diseases, says John Buckley, a professor of applied exercise science at the University of Chester in England, and lead author of the guidelines.

Some ergonomics experts warn that too much standing can create greater risk for varicose veins, foot problems and artery disease. Dr. Hedge says, “The key is breaking up your activity throughout the day. Sitting and standing all day are both bad for you.”

A Healthy Retiree is a Happy Retiree

A Healthy Retiree is a Happy Retiree

A Healthy Retiree is a Happy Retiree

You can see yourself taking a swim in the pool of a fancy Hawaiian resort, riding a bike through Central Park in New York or hiking in a beautiful national park.

The vision makes you feel wonderful and your retirement time is not so far away. But will you be strong enough and fit enough to do these things? Dr. James Hill, executive director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado, says most people can make a list of their fitness goals and achieve many of them in a few months.

At the university, Dr. Hill knows they are seeing more and more retirees and pre-retirees who want to be able to hike, bike, swim and engage with other physically fit retirees.

Walking is still the most popular exercise because it’s convenient, can be done almost anywhere and doesn’t require special equipment. Many pre-retirees take exercise classes such as Zumba. Yoga is popular. And others want to continue playing tennis or even soccer or hockey.

Many of Dr. Hill’s clients are very interested in healthy eating and cooking, which is a popular activity for couples. The biggest mistake is trying to do too much too soon, especially among those who don’t want to be overweight anymore.