Diabetes: 10 easy exercises you can do at home for managing blood sugar
Sedentary lifestyle can be deadly for diabetics. If you are someone who doesn't get much opportunity to venture out, stay active and exercise, you should consider doing exercises from the comforts of your home. Here are 10 convenient indoor exercises.
Suffering from diabetes but mostly staying indoors? Inactive or sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental for everyone's health, but for people with diabetes, it can even be deadlier. According to a study published in Diabetology & Metabolic Syndrome journal about sedentary lifestyle and body composition in type 2 diabetes, an inactive lifestyle may account for increases in trunk and body fat percentage and decreases in appendicular skeletal muscle mass and BMD of the lumbar spine, femoral neck, hip and total body in patients with T2D. Sitting too much in the first place can raise risk of diabetes as it is associated with changes in body's metabolism including insulin resistance. (Also read: Diabetes: Bedtime rituals that can help manage blood sugar)
High sugar levels in the blood can damage to heart, kidneys, eyes, feet and nerves and it is important to control blood sugar levels to avoid serious health issues. Staying active and doing regular exercise is one of the most effective ways to keep your blood sugar in check. If you are someone who doesn't get much opportunity to venture out, stay active and exercise, you should consider doing exercises from the comforts of your home.
"Regular exercise can help to increase metabolism and therefore decrease insulin resistance and increase insulin sensitivity. Increased insulin sensitivity means your cells can efficiently use the available sugar in your bloodstream. There are various forms of exercises available for each age group and various interests. It is recommended that you routinely check your blood sugar levels before and after exercising. This will help you learn how you respond to different activities and keep your blood sugar levels from getting too high or low. Some people don’t have a habit of going to gym or park for workout and therefore they can start with few of the simple exercises at home to beat diabetes," says Dr Priyanka Khanna (PT), Lactation Consultant & Women’s Health Physiotherapist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Punjabi Bagh, New Delhi.
Dr Khanna suggests 10 easy exercises for people with diabetes they can easily do at home.
1. Light walking or brisk walking at home
You can walk around the house or on the terrace for 20 to 30 minutes daily. You can do it at a stretch or in intervals as per your stamina. You can gradually increase the intensity by adding stair climbing in your daily routine.
2. Static bicycle
You can ride a stationary bike at home which helps to burn calories and body fat while increasing your cardiovascular endurance. It also simultaneously helps in strengthening your lower body muscles and therefore build stamina.
Those who love music can choose dancing as a way to burn fat and burn calories. Dancing is a great form of aerobic exercise. You can choose from a variety of dance forms ranging from Zumba, jazz, belly dancing, salsa etc. You can also follow YouTube videos of the same to make it easy at home.
4. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training)
This involves short bouts of high intensity exercises alternated with low intensity recovery period. In this exercise form, you burn more calories in less amount of time. A small example of this 10 minutes workout is:
• 10 lunge jumps
• 20 push ups
• 30 squats
• 40 chair dips
• 50 mountain climbers
Yoga is a beautiful and effective form of workout that involves low impact movement, breathing exercises and self-awareness. It’s a safe workout for all age groups. You can start with suryanamaskar to stretch the whole body and do repetitions of the same as cardio followed by anulom vilom, brahmri, kapal bha ti and other breathing techniques.
6. Weight training
Weight and strengthening exercises help to build muscle mass and burn calories. You can do these exercises using free weights or machine or water bottles or your own body weight like planks, side planks, beast hold etc.
Pilates is a good exercise to improve core strengthening and balance. It includes contraction of the abdomen and low back muscles, flowing movement patterns that are precise and a steady and controlled breathing. It focuses more on muscle tone and improving the posture.
It is a very good activity in which you get out in the sun and get a lot of Vitamin D and involves lifting, digging, bending, stretching involving all the muscle groups. Having your own garden at home can also help you consume home grown organic fruits and vegetables keeping you healthy.
9. Callisthenics exercises
These are strengthening exercises which use body weight and are performed at different levels of intensity. Some examples are pull ups, dips, push ups, chin ups, jump squats, burpees, skipping etc. These target large muscle groups and can be done easily at your home.
10. Resistance band exercises
There are various colours of resistance bands available according to the intensity level. As a beginner you can start with less resistance and increase it gradually depending upon your stamina. Various body parts can be strengthened and targeted using resistance bands.