Diabetes and Cold Weather – How To Exercise and Stay Warm
Exercise helps muscles effectively take up glucose (sugar) from the bloodstream, which is why it’s so valuable in controlling diabetes. However, braving the elements during cold and wet weather usually isn’t recommended for people with diabetes. Reduced sensation or circulation in the extremities raises the risk of frostbite, and wet feet can get blisters and abrasions. Reduced circulation also means that such injuries are slower to heal and more prone to infection.
On a good note, there are plenty of indoor activities that provide regular exercise during the cold-weather months. Some of these activities include:
- Walking: Shopping malls are ideal walking environments. They are climate-controlled, usually quiet on weekday mornings and early afternoons, and full of places to sit down to take a glucose reading, catch a breath or have a snack to ward off a glucose level drop. Planning on meeting a friend for a walk in the mall is a good motivator to show up on time.
- Swimming: Swimming indoors is a great way to stay active in poor weather. The endurance-building activity is a great alternative to keeping some impact stress off your body but allows you to tone muscle.
- Exercise: Health clubs offer many ways to keep moving indoors, from group exercise classes to weight machine circuits.
- Dance: Grab your favorite dance partner and jam to your favorite tunes. Whether it’s with a spouse or grandkids, an indoor dance party is a great way to get your heart rate up.
- Relax: Take an opportunity to spend time on your yoga mat. Yoga will improve your strength and flexibility while the different styles accommodate different needs.