Exercise, diabetes and bone health: A Fort Lauderdale chiropractor lends insight into better health

Group of Senior Friends Bicycling Having Fun

Everything effects bone health, and exercise is one of the prime ways to make sure that bones stay solid and strong, especially if you are affected by diseases such as diabetes. A Fort Lauderdale chiropractor will tell you that it’s no secret how to improve your health if you’re diagnosed with diabetes – and exercise is one of the most critical ways to keep bones healthy, to keep your blood sugar in balance, and to reduce your risk of cardiovascular diseases, stroke, cancer and other major illnesses.

Exercise is important because it works muscles which, in turn, will use more glucose than when at rest. Muscle movement leads to greater sugar uptake by muscle cells and lower blood sugar levels. According to diabetes research, your side benefits of regular exercise also include more weight control and better stress management, an improved state of mental health, a boost to self-esteem and confidence, better sleep and better energy levels, and protection against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Generally, regular exercise is defined as 150 minutes – or two- and a half hours – of moderate activity a week. Walking, for example, made the list of acceptable exercises, according to Webmd, “after a landmark 1989 Cooper Institute study came to a surprising finding: that people who were only moderately fit were significantly less likely to die of heart disease than those who never got off the couch. True, people who were super fit had the lowest death rates. But all their extra work gained them only a modest advantage – 10 percent to 15 percent – over the moderately fit group.” The study, which followed some 13,000 men and women for more than eight years, was published in the Nov. 3, 1989, issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

In addition to fast-paced walking, other exercises to consider include:

  • Light jogging
  • Bike riding
  • Rowing
  • Playing doubles tennis or badminton
  • Water aerobics

Generally speaking, cutting the grass, cleaning your home and other daily chores don’t count towards the exercise allotment, mostly because technological advances have made these activities less demanding than in decades prior. But it is always better to move than to remain seated for a long period of time. A sedentary lifestyle increases the risk for weight gain and obesity.

Endocrineweb.com suggests that people with diabetes, particularly type 2 diabetes, are more than likely overweight, so the idea of exercising may appear daunting. Always consult your Ft. Lauderdale chiropractor before starting a regular exercise routine, to have your heart health checked, which is important in the case of blocked arteries or high blood pressure, which may have gone undetected. In addition, you may have complications such as retinopathy or neuropathy, which can also cause problems when exercising.

Also, before you begin exercising, you need to set realistic goals, according to the website, especially if you have gone through an extended period of months or years of not exercising. It’s always advisable to start out slowly and gradually increase the duration and intensity of the exercise. Going full throttle at the start will not only compromise your health, but may force early burn-out.

Some other suggestions:

Diabetes – always stay hydrated by drinking water

Mayoclinic.org states that uncontrolled or untreated diabetes puts people at high risk of dehydration. “Even having a cold or sore throat makes you more susceptible to dehydration because you’re less likely to feel like eating or drinking when you’re sick,” the website states. Dehydration can lead to serious complications, including mild heat cramps to heat exhaustion or potentially life-threatening heatstroke, urinary and kidney problems, seizures due to an unbalance in electrolytes and hypovolemic shock, which can be life-threatening and occurs when low blood volume causes a drop in blood pressure and a drop in the amount of oxygen in your body.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention cautions that people who have both types of diabetes feel the heat more than people who don’t have diabetes, because certain complications of the disease can affect sweat glands, making the body unable to cool efficiently, leading to heat exhaustion and heat stroke. “Not drinking enough liquids can raise blood sugar, and high blood sugar can make you urinate more, causing dehydration,” the CDC states.

Always have a treatment for low blood glucose handy

This includes a snack containing at least 15 grams of carbohydrate, a juice bottle or something similar.

Check your blood sugar with your glucose meter

Do this before and after exercise to make sure you are in a safe range.

Having diabetes forces a lifestyle change but it doesn’t have to severely disrupt your daily routine, nor should it inhibit your exercise schedule and your overall well-being. People diagnosed with diabetes have choices to make, for certain, but these choices will help you adjust to the disease and incorporate good and healthy programs into your lifestyle. Do what works and what can be achieved within your limits, ask your Fort Lauderdale chiropractor for the best program that suits your current health and lifestyle, and always remember: No matter what you do, your bones will thank you.

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