Taking small steps (literally) can have big rewards when it comes to preventing Type 2 Diabetes.

Being physically active can help to control blood glucose levels by improving your body’s ability to use insulin.  Physical Activity includes aerobic exercise, strength training, flexibility exercises, and day to day activities.

Pick one or two activities you enjoy, grab a friend and get started!  Developing a support system and choosing activities you enjoy, will help you stick to your physical activity routine.

Aerobic Exercise: Aerobic activity improves cardiovascular health.  Doing aerobic exercise for 30 minutes a day at least 5 days a week shows many health benefits.  If your goal is to lose weight, try and exercise for 60 minutes most days of the week.

  • Take a fall hike/jog
  • Try out Cross-country skiing
  • Ride a bike or a stationary bike indoors
  • Try a new aerobics class at the gym

Strength Training: Doing exercises with hand weights, machines and exercise bands increases muscle mass and helps you burn more calories even when you are resting.  Adding strength training can be difficult to start, try:

  • Purchasing  a video to follow along with at home or search the internet for a free one
  • Join an exercise class that uses weights
  • Use an app on your phone that demonstrates a routine
  • Many gyms, if you join as a new member, will offer a free personal training session!

Flexibility Exercise: Stretching helps your flexibility, prevents muscle soreness/injury and lowers stress levels.  It’s best to begin and end your physical activity with 5-10 minutes of stretching.  Yoga is also another great way to get in flexibility exercises!

Day to Day Activities:  Including any bit of extra activity in your day to day routine can increase the number of calories you burn and also improve blood glucose levels.  Here are some ways to add more activity to your routine:

  • Take the stairs whenever possible
  • Take a brisk 10 minute walk on your lunch break
  • Park farther away than you usually do
  • Take the dog for a walk
  • Get up to go see a co-worker instead of calling or emailing them

For information about outpatient nutrition counseling and diabetes education services available at Washington Adventist Hospital, please call 301-891-6105.

Get more expert tips on how to prevent and manage diabetes by joining us on World Diabetes Day, Thursday, November 14th from 11-2 p.m. in the Washington Adventist Hospital cafeteria and conference rooms for a FREE diabetes education event including FREE health screenings, exercise and cooking demonstrations, prizes and more! Call 301-891-6105 for more information.