Resource Heart Health

Am I doing regular exercise?

Regular exercise is recommended and can be as easy as taking the stairs and not the lift, walking the dog or walking to the shop instead of driving there. In addition we should aim to do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 times per week. If you are more fit or prefer more intense activity, aim for 75 minutes of intense exercise 3 times per week. Try not to have more than two consecutive days of no physical activity. Regular exercise improves heart health, blood glucose control, cholesterol levels and blood pressure, quality of life and aids in weight loss. Physical activity further reduces the symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. Ask your doctor’s advice or speak to a fitness expert before starting any new exercise programme. Start slowly and gradually increase the time and intensity of your exercise.

Combining both resistance (like weight training or body weight exercises such as push-ups) and aerobic exercises (like running or cycling) may offer benefits in managing diabetes. Well-fitting foot-wear and taking care of your feet is also important. When starting a new exercise programme, ask family, friends and/or colleagues to support you or keep an activity diary to keep you motivated. People with Type 2 diabetes in particular, benefit from exercise as it helps them to lose weight and enables their bodies to make good use of the insulin they do produce. A further benefit of regular exercise is that it helps to lower blood pressure, which is also important for people with diabetes. Lower blood pressure levels could reduce the risk or slow down the development of further problems like eye, kidney and heart diseases.

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