We all know that “exercise is good for you.” And after consulting with your physician, this statement still holds true even if you suffer from a chronic illness. For those with type 2 diabetes, exercise is more than good, it’s a necessary step in managing the condition. However, gym memberships are expensive and finding the right exercise plan can be challenging. So, how do you set a starting point?
There is an old saying “after lunch rest awhile, after dinner walk a mile.” Walking is the simplest form of physical activity. It’s easy, effective, and inexpensive. Unless you suffer from a condition that prevents you from doing so, everyone can walk. Furthermore, recent study findings support this point.
At the University of Otago in New Zealand, researchers have discovered that for people with type 2 diabetes, walking after eating may help lower blood sugar levels more than exercising at other points throughout the day. A blood sugar measurement, postprandial glycemia, averaged 12% lower when study participants took a walk after eating. The largest drop, 22%, was reached during post-dinner walks.
Another possible connection between long daytime naps and type 2 diabetes is also being studied. This research from Japan found that the risk for type 2 diabetes may be 45% higher if your naps last an hour or longer when compared to short naps, or not napping at all. Shorter naps were not shown to have any effect.
Walking after eating isn’t proven to be a cure for type 2 diabetes as it is a complex condition affected by many environmental factors. However, it is a big step towards better managing our illness. If you’re not used to daily physical activity, start with ten minutes per day and gradually walk your way up to 30 minutes. You should notice a change in only a few days!
Walking with others is the best way to stay motivated. Join Peer Health, connect with healthcare peers just like you and start a walking challenge together! Fellow chronic illness sufferers are the only ones who will truly understand your experience and embrace all of your struggles and triumphs. Sign up today.