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How to Take Care of Your Type 2 Diabetes

Adding Exercise Into Your Daily Lifestyle

Before you say, "Forget it! I don't exercise!" keep reading. You do not have to slave away for hours in the gym or run marathons to take the best care of your type 2 diabetes. In fact, small efforts can make a big difference.
 
By simply starting off with a few minutes a day -- 30 minutes really is all you need -- you can start making huge strides in controlling your blood sugar levels. And you can even have fun doing it! It doesn't have to be a chore or something you dread. You don't even need to do those 30 minutes all at once; for example, you can take three 10-minute brisk walks during the day. And one of the best parts of all this is that exercise lowers blood sugar levels.
 
As you slowly incorporate physical activity into your daily life, you can start to increase the time you spend doing it, as well as the intensity. So what does this look like? For starters, you can simply make a conscious effort to get moving more. This can include taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking at the end of the parking lot and walking into the store. Transform the way you think about physical exertion; look for ways to get more of it, not avoid it.
 
Eventually, you can start adding some aerobic exercise into your routine. You can start off slowly, with maybe 5 to 10 minutes a day, and then add a little more time each week. Ultimately, the goal is to get in 30 minutes of aerobic activity at least five days a week, with a goal of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity each week.
 
Again, before you roll your eyes or tune out, remember this doesn't have to be something you hate. If you don't like to run, don't run. Pick an activity that you enjoy, such as swimming, ice skating, or even going for a bike ride. Think back to the activities you loved as a child. And again, you can split these minutes up throughout the day.
 
It is also recommended for those with type 2 diabetes to try to incorporate some strength training (resistance) exercises. The goal for many people is to include these exercises at least two days of the week, with a minimum of 8 to 10 exercises that involve the major muscle groups. This would include three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, with two to three minutes of rest in between sets.
 
Flexibility and balancing exercises are also often recommended for those with type 2 diabetes. Things such as yoga, tai chi, and Pilates can be great for helping to strengthen those core muscles and improve balance, which means fewer falls and broken bones.
 
Not only can exercise help to control blood sugar levels, it also provides your body with numerous other benefits, such as relieving stress, lowering your blood pressure, reducing cholesterol levels, and making your heart and bones strong.
 
If you want to take the best care of your type 2 diabetes, diet and exercise are a vital part of your treatment (see Being Active With Type 2 Diabetes).
 
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