Exercises for Diabetics to Keep Immunity Up
Exercise is beneficial for anyone to keep on living well. This is especially true for a diabetic as they are often affected by blood vessels damaging hyperglycemia (too much sugar in the blood) and inflammation. This type of health issue also inhibits the ability of the red and white blood
cells to function and fight off infections. If getting going to the gym and complicated routines are not for you, here are some fun and easy options you can adopt to improve your immunity.
Back to Basics Walking
Without requiring fancy equipment, it is one of the easiest ways to get in some physical activity. Wearing comfortable shoes, clothes, a location of your choice, and minimum 4 days a week at 30 minutes per day brisk walking sessions, you can easily get in your recommended moderate
intensity exercise requirements. Walking gets the blood circulation up to par and with improved blood flow. With that, you get less inflammation, your blood carries around nutrients better, and overall less strain on other parts of the body to fight off infection.1, 2
Dancing as an Exercise is not Just a Trend
Among social media, dancing is seen as the next best regime to lose weight and thus control diabetes. It is not just a trend because some form of continuous motion is better than a sedentary life. You can either follow a recording, do an in-person session, or even over your choice of media outlet, dancing is a fun way to exercise. It contributes to lowering blood glucose (high blood glucose or hyperglycemia inhibits immunity), de-stress, and losing weight. Look to add about 3 dance sessions a week with 25 minutes each.1, 2
Swimming is low impact with high benefits
Joint and nerve issues in diabetics sometimes limit their exercise options. If you are worried about your ability to exercise properly, swimming has many low impact aerobic exercises. Swimming can work on all parts of the body and is also a great way to cool off from a different workout session. With less stress on your body due to buoyancy, you can go on for longer and
burn serious amounts of calories. Depending on your mobility, you may need special equipment to help you swim.1, 2
Never forget about Good Nutrition
As important as physical activity is for diabetic management and the immune system, a healthy diet is a foundation of a healthy life. The most important nutrients for immunity are Vitamin C, B6, and E as they work as antioxidants and support biochemical processes in the body. Natural
foods are also rich in carbohydrates, protein, fatty acids, and fibers and when eaten in the right proportions helps the body function properly. If you are worried that your choices with regular food are not helpful enough, you can work in nutritional supplements like Glucerna into your diet plan. Glucerna has been specifically formulated with a diabetic diet requirement in mind and provides you with the nutrition you need to continue to do all the things you love.3, 4
Coping with Hunger, Taste Fatigue and Other Diet Inconveniences
Making a healthier food choice is important in managing and living well with diabetes. It prevents diabetes from progressing into more serious health complications. But naturally, when we are forced to live a lifestyle, we are not used to, we often feel unsatisfied, bored, and find reasons to diverge. These experiences are natural but with a few outlook changes, you can combat those inconveniences.1
Tips on Managing Hunger
The feeling of still feeling hungry, even after a large meal, is called polyphagia and it is one of the symptoms of high blood glucose levels when it is not controlled. You will be surprised that hunger management is not only about managing what you eat. Here are a few ways to manage hunger pangs 1
- For a systematic approach, always consult an appropriate medical professional or dietitian.
- Getting a personalized plan is important as no two diabetic people are the same.
- Keeping your body moving is key, so add exercise regimens and stick to it.
- Hydration will help your body get rid of excess glucose so drink plenty of water.
- Keep a record of all symptoms, issues, experiences, food choice changes, and never feel ashamed to share it with family or friends, especially your doctor.
How to Cope with Taste Fatigue
When you begin a healthy diet, it feels like everything is tasteless, bland. For the most part, food you used to indulge in such as sweets and junk food are completely off limits. With the perceived lack of options, you are burnt out in taste. Combating taste fatigue comes down to these key aspects.1, 2
- Knowledgeability. Learn which vitamins or minerals you need and study which variety of fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy you are willing to eat to give you the best quality of them.
- Shop with a goal. Look out for added sugar and sodium content. For example, it is much more satisfying to eat a whole bunch of grapes than to be limited to eating only 2 tiny pieces of candy a day. That is because both those servings have the same calorie count, but the former has the nutrients and none of the added sugar.
- Creativity. Learning to cook will get you used to controlling what goes into your food. With a plethora of recipes online, you have many options to keep trying different dishes until you find one that works for you. You may even find out that previously off limit items like cakes and fried items can be options too when done right.
Living with inconveniences
The best way to control inconveniences is to have a concrete plan. Within that plan, be knowledgeable on what a Healthy Plate looks like (¼ must be whole grains, ¼ must have proteins, and main ½ must consist of fruits and vegetables). And finally, believe that there is a solution to everything if you are willing to work for it. You should also never be afraid to ask for help.1, 2
Due to living situations or food option availability, you can consult a Medical Professional for nutrient supplements. Make sure what you choose is diabetes appropriate. For example, Glucerna nutritional supplements have a low Glycemic Index rating per serving as it is important for a diabetic to choose carbohydrates that do not raise blood glucose levels too high. Each serving is packed with a special blend of vitamins & minerals, fiber, and protein. Glucerna can be either a meal replacement or a snack substitute in your diet management meal plan.3
Mindful Eating for Diabetics
Unlike regular illnesses, Diabetes does not currently have a known cure, but that does not mean you cannot live well with it. There are many things to be mindful of when you are serious about controlling your diabetes as managing it is not just about the food choices.1,
- Have a Plan
Although many people may have diabetes, methods of control are not one plan fits all. It is best to consult a Dietitian for a meal plan to customize it to your blood glucose fluctuation levels and goal. A good plan is one where you can practice it both at home, work cafeterias, and even on vacation or holidays where we tend to indulge.1, 2
- Be Strong Willed
You have the temptation to switch from one diet to one after another but being inconsistent is what causes rebound weight gain or worsened diabetic symptoms. Sustaining requires your full attention, but also never be afraid to ask extra help from a professional, family, or even friends to help you keep on track. Controlling diabetes can be a lifelong process and you need all the help you can get.1, 2
- What works for others, may not work for you
Fasting may seem like the standard for controlling weight and cholesterol, it does not work for everyone. It can drop your blood glucose too low or spike it high when you eventually eat food because your body is in starvation mode if not done properly.1, 2
- Expect Distractions and Disruptions
Controlling your diabetes is really about having a nutritionally balanced meal. But you face disruptions like limiting access to ingredients, being on the go often, or long work hours. When in doubt, test your blood glucose and adjust the next meal accordingly to bring blood glucose to target. You can indulge from time to time, it is just that indulgent
foods often have little nutritional value, but the calories. If you feel that your plans are easily disrupted, then you need talk to a Dietitian for a better course of action. 1, 2
- Avoid Diet Burnout
Most tend to think that diet food is tasteless and that their favorite foods will become off limits. A healthy diabetic diet really does have a tasty and endless combination of fruits, vegetables, with a side of whole grains, proteins, dairy, and healthy fats. To tackle variety burnout, have a plan and incorporate your favorites into it. For example, you can
switch chicken with grilled tofu, mashed bean cutlets, or vegetable patties. Together with food, increasing your physical activity will provide an even better management of your diabetes.1, 2
But if you feel you need something to top off what you may be missing, nutritional supplements
can be seen as an option. Nutritional supplements such as Glucerna which is a low glycemic index (GI) formula, contains high protein, fiber, 28 vitamins and minerals packed into each serving to help you achieve your diabetic nutritional goals.
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