Fighting diabetes? Then why don’t you do it actively?

Exercise is good for pretty much everyone. It’s especially important if you have diabetes. Workouts can do all kinds of things for you, like lower your blood sugar and blood pressure, boost your energy, and help you sleep better. If physical, high-impact exercises aren’t for you, there are plenty of other options.

1) Walking

It’s a simple way to get exercise and fresh air. It can lower your stress, too. A brisk stroll of 40 minutes to an hour, 5 times a week is one way to hit your target. It can be slightly difficult to start with especially if you are overweight or having joint problems of heart problems but once you’ve made it a habit, it can be rewarding -- and motivating -- to track your steps and your progress. Pedometer can be one good device which can help you track your activity. Try and increase your step count slowly and steadily.

2) Dancing 

This can be a fun way to get your exercise. Just shake your groove thing for 25 minutes, 3 days a week to help your heart, lower your blood sugar, ease stress levels, and burn calories. You don’t need a partner to get started, either. A chair can be good support if you need it.

3) Swimming 

This is one aerobic exercise that doesn’t strain your joints like other ones can. It also lets you work muscles in your upper and lower body at the same time. Hitting the water is also good for your heart. It can also lower cholesterol and help you burn serious calories. If a lifeguard is on duty, let her know you have diabetes. Avoid swimming if you have history of seizures.

4) Cycling 

Fighting diabetes can be as easy as riding a bicycle. Whether you use a stationary one or hit the road, 30 minutes a day 3 to 5 times a week can get your heart rate up, burn blood sugar, and help you lose weight without hurting your knees or other joints.

5) Climb Stairs

This can be a healthy and easy way to burn calories and get your heart and lungs working faster, especially if you have type 2 diabetes. Going up and down stairs for 3 minutes about an hour or two after a meal is a good way to burn off blood sugar. You can do it anywhere there’s a staircase, like when you need a break from work. Use stairs instead of elevator, getting down on lower floor than your desired floor and climbing for few floors can be a very simple way to start.

6)  Strength Training 

You do this with free weights or machines.It can lower your blood sugar and help make your muscles and bones stronger. You get the most out of it if you do it twice a week -- in addition to your aerobic stuff.  You can do many of these exercises at home, like Push-ups, Sit-ups, Squats, Lunges.

7) Gardening 

If the idea of traditional exercise isn’t for you, don’t worry. Time in your garden counts as both aerobic activity and strength training. It gets your blood going (since you’re walking, kneeling, and bending). It also builds muscles and helps your bones (since you’re digging,lifting, and raking). You’re also outside, where your stress levels can be lower.

8) Yoga

Gift of India to the world, Yoga is a low-impact exercise that can make you stronger and more flexible. Yoga can also help with balance. The motions, poses, and focus on breathing may also ease stress and help build muscle. That can keep your blood sugar levels more stable.

9) Tai Chi

This ancient Chinese art uses slow, controlled movements-- along with visualization and deep breathing -- to build strength. It can also help with mobility, balance, and flexibility. This gentle exercise can also lower your stress level. It may also help prevent nerve damage in your feet.

How Much Is Enough?

At least 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 days a week can help the insulin in your body work better. We’re talking exercise that gets your heart and lungs going and kicks your blood flow into a higher gear. If you haven’t been active in a while, start with 5 to 10 minutes a day and build up overtime. Talk with your doctor before you start. Please remember it usually takes about 3 months for regular exercise to start showing its impact on diabetes.