You should now be familiar with some of the pros and cons of doing cardiovascular exercises. In this post I will discuss the various types of cardio and how to get the best out of them.
For diabetics cardio should be a prescription handed out by the doctor – ‘walk a mile and call me in the morning’. It is that important.
Cardio comes in many forms. As mentioned earlier, it can be mowing the lawn, vacuuming the house, dancing, walking the dog or even having sex. Anything that will elevate your heart rate and cause you to burn excess calories can be considered cardiovascular exercises. For diabetics however you might need to do more in-order to lose added weight and to help your body deal with the excess glucose in your blood stream.
To get the most benefit from any cardio program you will need to do what’s called ‘interval training’. Interval is best done with certain types of exercises; for example running, cycling or swimming. It involves performing exercises at a high intensity broken up by periods of rest or low intensity. So if you wish to do intervals while running you would run as fast as you can for thirty seconds and walk or jog for two minutes. This can be used for speed walking and most other types of cardio exercises.
Ideally, interval training should only be done three times per week for about twenty minutes. Any more than that and you are putting too much stress on your body. The immediate benefits of intervals are that you will burn more calories faster, hence lose more weight quicker and cut down on your cardio time. On the days that you don’t do intervals you should continue with your regular cardio routine.
Intervals and resistance exercises
Intervals can even be used when doing resistance exercises. An example of this would be to jog in place for a minute then drop to the floor and do ten to twenty push-ups after which you would do forty jumping jacks. Rest for sixty seconds and repeat the process. Include a front plank at the end of the second set. And rest for sixty seconds again. You should be exhausted after doing four sets of this exercise.
As a diabetic you will need to check your sugar level before, during and after doing cardio exercises and especially after doing high intensity training. You can end up in a glucose deficit or hypoglycemic condition whereby your body uses up a lot of sugar needed for energy. For this reason it is recommended that you carry a quick acting source of glucose such juice or a piece of candy. Although this is a quick fix it will get you through your workout.
Intervals can be done with most cardio exercises and is the best way to lose weight quickly. It can be done at home or in a gym setting. I prefer going to my local park where I can run on a grassy surface. This puts less stress on my legs and joints and I find outside air to be better for the body and mind.
I want to emphasize again the need for diabetics to lose any excess weight they might have. Also the warm weather will be on us again. Soon it will be time to shed your winter clothing and show more skin. Wouldn’t it be great to fit into that summer outfit and be the envy of your friends.
To a healthier you,
For more information check us out at: exercises for diabetics today