With spring in full bloom and the mountains of snow behind us, it’s the perfect time to pull those running shoes out from the back of your closet. Getting back into the swing of exercise can be tricky — especially when you need to be cautious of how that exercise will affect your blood-glucose levels.
Ease back into your exercise routine by following these tips:
- Pair your cardio with yoga. Practicing yoga can reduce stress as well as improve flexibility, align breath and improve posture and balance—all of which can improve a cardio workout and help you stay in good shape.
“While significant research exists regarding the benefits of aerobic exercise such as walking or swimming and resistance training on the management of blood glucose and risk factors that accompany diabetes, the research has not been as plentiful regards to yoga and diabetes,” says Michael See, MS, RCEP, of Joslin Diabetes Center.
- Work up to your routine at a gradual pace. It may be tempting to throw yourself into exercise, but that could end up doing more harm than good. Instead, ease into your workout. If you run, start with a half hour or so of brisk walking or light jogging and work up to a faster pace. Remember to build up gradually with all of your exercise routines — especially when you’re resuming after a long absence.
- Have a goal in mind. Often when you work toward a goal, it can be easier to accomplish. Spring, summer and fall are rife with marathons, fundraising walks, triathlons and the like. Consider taking on one or more such activities as a challenge to keep you motivated and committed to your personal goal.
- Listen to your body. Don’t forget to pay attention to your diabetes. Be aware of your blood-sugar levels both before and after exercise. When you exercise away from home, take along fruit, juice, a sports drink or glucose tablets — just in case. Speak with your doctor before beginning an exercise routine, to find one that best suits your needs.