Living with any of the various forms of diabetes causes individuals to adopt healthy lifestyle habits to manage their diagnosis. Specifically, with Type 2 Diabetes, a daily priority is making sure that blood sugar levels remain in a healthy range. While eating a healthy diet and taking the right medications play a critical role in proper blood sugar management, there is also an element of physical activity that needs to be factored into your routine.
Walking is a great option for daily physical activity as it gets the heart rate pumping and is not dependent on the weather conditions or location. All you need to walk is a pair of comfortable tennis shoes and your legs. Whether you decide to take your dog for a morning stroll or use an indoor treadmill while watching a scenic YouTube video, it’s easy to incorporate a consistent walking routine into your daily schedule.
BLOOD SUGAR LEVELS WILL IMPROVE WITH WALKING
Individuals with T2D must engage in moderate exercises, like walking, to make blood sugar management more natural to control. The heart beats faster when walking, forcing the body to use more energy and blood glucose, with or without insulin present. As the main concern for individuals with this form of diabetes is high blood sugar, walking is an ideal solution to quickly regulate your diagnosis. Over time, blood sugar levels will lower, and A1C levels will improve for a significant period. Not to mention, there won’t be sudden spikes when pushing your body to use glucose overflow by walking daily, allowing you to live a healthy and comfortable life with diabetes.
LOWER RISK FOR HEART COMPLICATIONS
When people with diabetes don’t walk daily, they have a significantly higher risk of developing additional health problems associated with their hearts, including cardiovascular disease and increased susceptibility to heart attacks. These complications occur from damage to blood vessels leading to the heart due to high blood sugar. While this is a common side effect of diabetes, keeping your blood glucose in a healthy range will keep those risks to a minimum. Not only does walking help manage glucose levels, but walking is a form of aerobic exercise, which helps strengthen the entire cardiovascular system because more blood is being pumped through the heart.
BETTER SLEEP AND DIABETES MANAGEMENT
While walking is crucial for blood sugar management, it’ll also help you sleep better, which is equally beneficial for controlling diabetes. Sleeping is the time when your body heals and restores itself. Nonetheless, inadequate sleep will interfere with insulin and blood sugar for the worst. After a constant loss of sleep, the body will change how it produces insulin because of stress on the pancreatic cells, affecting blood glucose levels. However, when you go for a walk every day, you will be forced to use more energy, which will cause you to be more tired at night and able to sleep better. In return, you will avoid sleep problems and heightened risks in insulin production and blood sugar levels.
RELIEVE DIABETES-RELATED STRESS
Anyone with T2D knows this illness is challenging to live with and can bring additional stress to your daily life and routine. The good news is that walking is the perfect way to relieve stress. When you exercise, your body boosts the release of endorphins or the “feel-good” hormones. These hormones signal to the brain’s opiate receptors to boost happiness and pleasure. Also, due to diabetic neuropathy, people with diabetes are more prone to developing depression, and walking is a beneficial way to nourish your mental health by increasing these endorphins. Choose a walk to lift your spirits the next time you are feeling down about your diagnosis.
Walking is a great moderate exercise that can be enhanced with a treadmill incline if you’re up for something more challenging. While there are other things you can do to help keep your blood glucose on track, walking is one of the most efficient and natural ways to ensure you don’t increase your chances of heightened diabetic risk, and it will make you feel good, too!
HERE ARE THE ANSWERS TO SOME OF THE MOST COMMONLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT TREADMILL WALKING: