May is “Exercise is Medicine” Month!

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You’ve heard that when you have diabetes, keeping active is a huge part of your treatment. But do you know why?

Exercise increases glucose uptake and helps your body use the glucose better for between 24 and 48 hours after the workout session. But there’s more to it than that.

Moving your body and working up a sweat helps you lose weight, keeps your blood vessels healthy, helps with your cholesterol (lowering your bad and raising your good), strengthens your muscles—and with stronger muscles comes a faster metabolism, which leads to even more weight loss…the positive effects on your body are nearly endless.

And exercise is good for more than just your physical health—it’s all around good for YOU! Exercise has been shown to combat depression, reduce stress, and help you feel better about yourself, even with minimal bodily changes. Just the act of doing something good for your body makes you feel great—and the endorphin rush from a good workout doesn’t hurt.

Try to get moving for a half an hour total every day, whether you are jogging for 30 minutes straight or breaking it up into 10-minute chunks—a brisk walk here and a burst of jumping rope there. Add in two days of strength training to round it out. You can follow Jackie Shahar, exercise physiologist and manager of exercise services at Joslin, in these resistance band strength training videos. And keep an eye on the Joslin website for agility and core exercises from Michael See, also an exercise physiologist at Joslin.

To raise the stakes, make it a competition! This month at Joslin, teams of 6 are competing in the Fitness Challenge where one point is awarded per 20 minutes of exercise. Start something similar at your work or school, and get active together.

Learn more about exercising with diabetes, or make an appointment with an exercise physiologist

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