How much exercise do I need?

  • If you haven’t been active lately, you can start with light-intensity and slow exercises to avoid any potential injuries. If you already practice walking or jogging, you can take it to the higher level.
  • If you exercise to control your blood sugar and stay in shape, you should exercise 30 mins/day for 5 days/week.
  • If you exercise to lose weight, you should exercise 60-90 mins/day/ for 6-7 days/week. Try to include aerobics and strength training in your workout routine.
Exercising can do wonders to your health!
Reduce blood sugar, blood pressure, cholesterol levels and losing weight.
Good for mental health.
Helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Try including exercising and activity in your daily routine!

150 mins = 5 days X 30 mins

OR

150 mins = 5 days X [10 mins * 3 rounds]

Try to do 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity exercise, for e.g. Brisk walking. You should exercise at least 30 mins/day for 5 days/week.

Depending on what works best for you, you can break it up into 3 chunks of 10 minutes each during the day. To gain even more health benefits, you can increase your exercise time to 300 minutes a week.

Be creative about your physical activity and do what works best for you. Exercising with your family members also has its benefits.

Consult your doctor

If you haven’t been active lately, you should consult a doctor first to make sure your body can take it.

You might also need to take a stress test and some lab tests, then you can plan the activities and exercises you enjoy doing to make sure you are committed.

You can choose between walking, jogging, biking, joining a gym, or swimming. Start slowly and increase your activity level gradually until you are doing 30-40 mins of exercise on most days.

Initially, you might not be able to do more than 10-15 mins of exercise, but once you are committed to your workout routine, you’ll be able to increase the time.

Try to use a pedometer to keep track of your progress, which can encourage you to go an extra mile.

Simple exercises you can do at home!

There are many useful exercises that you can do at home, without the need for any equipment, for e.g. Sit-ups.

  • Walk in place in front of the TV. Start with 5-10 minutes till you reach 30 minutes.
  • Climb stairs! Make stair climbing a part of your daily workout routine.
  • Household activity and chores like cleaning, gardening and car washing can have a great impact on improving your health.
  • Exercise with your friends instead of hanging out for coffee! Exercising with friends can be truly enjoyable and fun.
  • You can use home equipment for e.g. Home or stationary bike, treadmill). You can also do strength training, which consists of lifting weights and elastic band exercises.

Use a pedometer!

A pedometer is a small device that clips on to your waistband or a pocket, which helps in counting your steps. You can buy one from Nahdi Pharmacy or any sporting goods retailer. Exercise physiologists at Joslin Diabetes Center found that stated pedometers have helped people significantly in keeping track of their physical activity, especially walking.

Researchers also found that participants who wore pedometers increased their overall physical activity by 27%. Researchers further found that participants’ blood pressure, risk of stroke, and weight dropped when they walked more. Note down the number of steps and try to increase your steps each day. For example, if you walk 2500 steps per day, try to add 500-1000 more steps during the week.

Four tips to lead a more active lifestyle

  • Time management: Write down your activities to know how well you are using your time. Plan your activities ahead of time to make optimal use of your exercise time
  • Social support: Look for friends and family members with common interests, encourage them to exercise with you.
  • Prevent regression: Don’t let a one time failure put you in a long-term regression. Choose a variety of activities, especially the ones that make you feel positive about yourself. Schedule regular exercise times.
  • Overcoming barriers: We’ll learn here how to overcome common barriers to regular physical activity which are as the following:
    • Lack of time: Identify available time slots in your weekly calendar you could use for physical activity. For example, walking, riding a bike or exercising while you watch TV for e.g. Use the treadmill or stationary bike.
    • Social influence: Invite friends and family members to exercise with you. Develop new friendship with physically active people or join an exercise group.
    • Lack of energy: Schedule physical activity at times when you feel energetic as it will increase your energy level.
    • Lack of motivation: Plan your weekly schedule ahead. Join an exercise group and set attainable goals.
    • Fear of injury: Start slowly, learn to warm up and cool down at the beginning and end of exercise respectively. Consult an exercise specialist to help you choose activities involving minimum risk.
    • Lack of skill: Select physical activities that don’t require new skills. Exercise with a friend who shares the same level of skill and fitness. Take a class to develop new skills.
    • Lack of resources: Select activities that require minimal facilities or equipment, such as walking, jogging, stair climbing or follow inexpensive home exercise videos.

Three types of activity to help you stay healthy

  • Aerobics: Walking, swimming, dancing and jogging are ideal for lowering blood sugar level.
  • Strength training: It helps in increasing the strength and mass of your muscles, as well as boosting your metabolism. Lifting weights and working with resistance bands help you strengthen your muscles. Keep in mind to work your way up gradually with these exercises.
  • Stretching or flexibility exercises: It helps in maintaining good joint mobility.

What are the risks involved in exercising?

  • Consult your doctor before doing physical activity to make sure it works for your body and health. Your doctor might ask you to take a stress test and some lab tests before you start an exercise program.
  • If you take diabetes medication to control blood sugar or insulin injections, you have more risk of of having low blood sugar. Make sure that the medication intake doesn’t impose risk.
  • Learn effective ways to prevent low blood sugar and simple ways of treating it with food/snack consumption.
  • Learn new exercises that influence blood sugar levels. Use a glucose meter before and after your exercise session.
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