Diabetes is affecting more and more people in the United States – as portion sizes become bigger, foods become more sugary, and people become less active. If you’re 65 or older, there’s a 60 percent chance that you either have diabetes or pre-diabetes. Luckily, there are now many ways to treat diabetes, from insulin pumps, to skin creams, to special low-sugar meals. There are many other ways to combat or prevent diabetes, and some of them are as easy as stepping outside.
Taking a 15-minute walk after each meal (about 45 minutes a day), has been proven to reduce the risk of type-2 diabetes in elderly people. This is because eating increases your blood sugar, which if it gets high enough can lead to type-2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Taking a walk right after eating is a great way to keep your blood sugar in check for up to three hours after you’ve had your meal.
Not only has exercise been proven to be good for managing diabetes, but inactivity after eating has been shown to have the opposite effect. Plopping down on the couch to take a nap or watch TV after a big meal is one of the worst things to do if you’re trying to combat the condition, as it does nothing to keep your blood sugar levels in check.
So once you’re done munching, try to find something that will keep you on your feet for at least another 15 minutes or so. Even if you don’t feel like going out for a walk, there are plenty of other activities to engage in. Washing the dishes, going outside to garden, tossing a ball around with a friend or loved one, or playing with a pet, are all good ways to keep your blood sugar levels down after you’ve eaten a big meal.
If you are limited in mobility or if it is too painful for you to physically walk around, don't worry, with a wide range of home exercise equipment, you can stay active without even leaving the house! This exercise peddler is great for working out both the arms and legs, and it even tells you how many calories you've burned. Resistance exercise bands offer another way for you to stay active while in the comforts of your own home. After your quick activity, you can reward yourself by curling up with an interesting book or relaxing with a feel-good movie!