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Fitness and family health

November 30, 2015

How to start exercising

You don’t have to be an athlete to enjoy the health benefits of exercising. And if you live with diabetes, it can even help lower your blood sugar.

Any activity that gets you moving can help to lower your blood sugar, reduce your risk of heart disease and control your weight. If you’ve never exercised before or want to become more active, start slowly and talk to your doctor.

Your doctor may suggest that you start by walking. It’s an aerobic activity that’s safe and easy to fit into your daily routine. You might start with the goal of taking a 10-minute walk at a comfortable pace.

5 ways to add exercise to your day

  • You could walk during your lunch or coffee break at work.
  • Walk your kids to school or push your baby in a stroller.
  • Go for a stroll after dinner.
  • Walk to the store to pick up milk or your dry cleaning.
  • Take your dog to the park. (Read more: Do pet owners live longer?)

Reward yourself for making a daily walk a regular habit.

Once you’ve had success meeting this goal, think about setting your sights a little higher. The Canadian Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes do at least 30 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity at least five days a week.

Increase your activity level gradually

You could work toward this goal in stages. As your fitness level gets better, try speeding up your pace to a brisk walk. If 30 minutes at a time seems daunting, you could break your walk into two 15-minute walks or three 10-minute ones.

Maybe you may want to mix it up a little. Biking, swimming, gardening, dancing, tennis, light jogging or golf are all healthy choices. As you become more active, you may find that you want to try some things that didn’t interest you before.

Whether you live with diabetes or you want to cut your risk of developing it, starting exercise with small steps can offer big rewards.

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