There have been countless books and articles written on the subject of cardiovascular (cardio or aerobic) exercises. I find however, that most of this information is aimed at audiences who are already involved in an exercise program. What about those who have no interest in doing cardio?
Unfortunately, for many diabetics this is the case. One of the main reasons for diabetes becoming so widespread is inactivity and this needs to be addressed first and foremost.
Why does cardio turn off so many people? In thinking about this I came up with several reasons or excuses used. Which one are you guilty of?
- I need special clothes – shoes, outfits, etc.
- Time – I am too busy and don’t have time to do it
- Location – where to do it?
- Medical – doctors recommend not doing it
- I am too heavy
- My body hurts when I do it
- It’s too hard
- I don’t know how to do it
- How will it affect my diabetes?
- I just don’t feel like doing it
The list goes on and on.
Every one of these issues can be easily argued against. For example . . . what’s wrong with the clothes you have right now? Or, if you love to shop – what’s wrong with walking the perimeter of the nearest shopping mall. Call it window shopping for your health. If time is your problem then do your cardio in ten or fifteen minute intervals. Surely you can find that much time during your busy day.
Benefits of a cardio program
Would you believe that cardio exercises can actually prevent diabetes, along with its complications, from occurring? In some cases it has actually cured this dreaded disease. Many studies have shown this to be true.
Some of the main benefits include:
- Weight loss
- Better sex
- Better respiration
- General sense of well-being
- Lowers cholesterol
- Lowers your risk of heart disease
- Tones your body
- Help prevent and /or manage kidney and eye problems
- Improves your balance and
- Improves brain activity.
We usually associate cardio with huffing and puffing and being out of breath, but it doesn’t have to be that way at all. Cardio comes in many forms. Believe it or not breathing can be a form of cardio. So is mowing the lawn, vacuuming the house, working in the garden or walking the dog.
There are countless other ways to exercise your cardiovascular system. Some of these are jogging, swimming, playing sports, cycling, yoga, dancing, jumping, and even hunting. Pick your favorite activity and just do it. A good way to get started is to involve a friend.
Studies recommend that you get in at least 30 minutes of cardio 5 days per week. As mentioned earlier this can be broken up into 10 or 15 minute intervals.
If you are a diabetic with neuropathy you will need to take some precautionary measures.
- You must wear proper fitting shoes that cushion your feet
- If you sweat profusely then you need to change your socks regularly. The last thing you need is a blister. The best socks to wear are polyester/cotton blend
- Check your feet regularly for blisters or any other signs of injury
- Avoid exercising in extreme weather conditions i.e. heat or cold.
Remember to always consult with your doctor or health care provider before beginning any exercises program.
In future posts I wiil expand on the benefits of certain types of cardio exercises. Remember in whatever you do be in the moment.
To a healthier you,
For more information check us out at: exercises for diabetics today