If you’ve been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, your doctor may have told you that one of the best ways to cope with the disease is to increase your physical activity. But you may be thinking you don’t have the energy or you don’t feel well enough to exercise. Well, I have just the solution for you: Walking.
Walking is one of the easiest ways to incorporate more physical activity into your lifestyle. Let’s face it: the average person spends more time sitting than moving or standing. If you are a sedentary worker, you most likely spend almost eight hours at your desk. And when you leave work, you drive or ride in a bus or train for another 30 minutes, then when you get home, you eat, shower and lie in front of the television. The next day you rinse and repeat.
Sitting too much is bad for you
Studies have found that sitting for such long periods accounts for illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer. You can counteract these outcomes by walking at least 20 minutes during your lunch break, taking the stairs at some time during the day and maybe walking your dog (if you have one) or engaging in some sport or enjoyable activity when you get home.
The importance of physical activity
In terms of numbers, people who spend time sitting for about 8 hours a day but are otherwise physically active have a much lower risk of death when compared to others who sat for a shorter duration but were not necessarily physically active. This should drive home the importance of physical activity, no matter how many hours a day an individual sits.
Benefits of walking
Walking burns calories –which helps you lose weight– controls glucose levels, lowers blood pressure, promotes better sleep and makes you feel better overall. According to the American College of Sport Medicine, if you are a 175-pound male, a leisurely 30-minute walk around the block will burn 146 calories. A 135-pound female, walking the same distance at the same speed, will burn 113 calories. For a brisk walk (4mph) the man will burn 167 calories, the woman 129 calories. Walking is easy on your joints, you don’t need special equipment to do it and you can walk at any time that is convenient to you.
If you are convinced, that walking can help you control your diabetes, heart disease or other ailment, why not decide now to begin a walking routine? One way to do that is to record it in your journal. Write when you plan to start, what time you will walk and for how long. Then do it!