Being active is a crucial part of diabetes management. Although a lot of us dread exercising, it’s one of the most effective ways to improve blood sugar control. And the good news is, it doesn’t have to be torturous. Here are ten tips from certified trainer, Rob Bloom, for living a healthy life and moving well.
1. Don’t get stuck
Allocate 10 minutes each day to run through a basic routine of full body mobility movements and stretches. This will ensure that through the years you don’t lose your range of motion in your joints.
Who said exercise has to be intense all the time? Spend as much time on your feet each day as you do sitting. Walk around the office, walk your commute, and even a bit of housework is enough to balance out your sedentary time.
3. Pay attention to your posture
Good postural alignment when sitting or standing enables you to move better, and prevents fatigue. When your posture is correct, you remove strain from your spine. While good posture isn’t necessarily as simple as standing or sitting up tall and elegantly, it’s a good start. Try to be aware of how much you slouch. Watch people passing in the street, or look across the room at your colleagues. If you’re constantly noticing the way others carry themselves, you’ll be more aware of yourself.
4. Control your breathing
Once you’re sitting and standing tall, begin breathing deep into your diaphragm while lifting your ribcage up and outwards (forwards). This will strengthen the important connection between breathing and posture.
5. Get a massage
There are many different techniques to relax your body and mind. While we sometimes need an elbow or hard ball to break up deep fascial adhesions, oftentimes all we need is the light touch of fingertips across the surface of our skin to help relive muscular tension.
6. Go slow
In order to build good habits, practice your movements slowly and in a controlled manner. With solid foundations you’ll be prepared for endurance and agility when it matters. Rushed movements can lead to injury.
7. Wear foot shaped shoes
Pay attention to your feet and check them for sores everyday. Foot care is one of the most important aspects of living well with diabetes and the wrong shoes can harm your feet and inhibit your movements. The excessive padding, distorted arch, and squashed toe shape of most shoes can contribute not only to foot ulcers, but to the weakening of all the muscles that support our ankles, control our arch, and aid our balance. For most people, flat and thin shoes that protect our soles, but don’t influence our how we stand or walk, are the best choice. The right shoes can make a difference to our knee, hip, and ankle health. If you have foot injuries or ulcers, be sure to ask your doctor which shoes are right for you.
8. Twenty minutes per day is better than two hours twice a week
The consistency and continuity of your training schedule will bring better results than a less frequent difficult or long session. Working on your mobility daily will instill good habits and create a solid foundation.
9. Lift up your smartphone
If you must hold your phone while you’re walking, lift it up to face level so you can still maintain healthy posture. In addition to relieving your neck and shoulders from the strain of holding your head in a drooped position for extended periods of time, if you put your phone down for a bit, you’ll see new sights every single day.
10. Pay attention to your diet
If your motivation for training is about the way you look then press pause and take a look at the way you eat. To change your appearance and/or improve your overall health, your diet should be strict. And for people with diabetes, a low carb diet is often the best choice, both for weight and blood sugar control.
It takes approximately three months to build good habits, so now is a good time to start if you want to be in great shape for summer.
Find out more about Rob’s holistic training system.