- Physical activity
Physical activity can help you to:
- Reduce your blood glucose.
- Lose weight.
- Improve your muscle and heart health.
- Reduce resistance to insulin, this means your body uses the insulin it makes more effectively and can delay the need for extra medication
- Lift your mood
For good health it is advised to aim for 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity a day, five times a week. Moderate intensity activity is any activity that makes you:
Breath more deeply but leaves you able to hold a conversation
If this seems too much at the beginning try starting with 5-10 minutes and increase gradually. You should choose an activity that you enjoy and that is convenient for you as you are more likely to keep exercising – a really important part of you diabetes management. If you have difficulty standing to exercise, armchair exercises may be for you.
Most people are safe to do physical activity but if you are concerned or have a health condition such as heart disease, asthma or foot or eye diabetes complications then speak to your GP before undertaking physical activity.
Giving up smoking is the most positive thing you can do for your diabetes and your health in general.
As you can see smoking damages your blood vessels, so too does diabetes. This increases your risk of a heart attack, stroke and problems with circulation to your legs. Smoking and diabetes together increases your risk of this happening by 4 – 9 times compared to the risk for someone who does not smoke and does not have diabetes.
If you are a smoker and want to quit you can contact your GP or the Walsall Healthcare Stop Smoking Service. They offer free local support to help you to quit smoking and aim to offer the best possible support to smokers who intend to make a serious attempt to stop. Don’t give up trying to quit.
- Weight management
If you are overweight your body will be less sensitive to the insulin you are producing or injecting.
Research shows that a 10% reduction in body weight (if overweight) can:
- Reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Lower blood pressure.
- Make you feel better.
- Following the healthy eating advice and increasing your physical activity levels will help you to lose weight.