Fight diabetes with just 10 minutes of movement

October 9, 2015

Managing your blood sugar and weight doesn't have to be hard work. You can make a difference in just 10 to 15 minutes a day. We'll share some tips to get you started down the path to better health.

Fight diabetes with just 10 minutes of movement

Start with 10 minutes

Walking at least five days a week can help you manage your blood sugar and shed pounds too. Can you walk for just 10 minutes a day? That's about how long it takes to brew a pot of coffee, browse a magazine or catch the next local forecast.

  • During the first week, do nothing but 10 minute walks for five days. Once you get going, you'll be surprised how quickly your walks become a habit.
  • Getting out and exercising may seem like a big change. So start with that: just open the door and walk outside. Next, walk to the end of the driveway. Then, to the end of the block. Keep moving and you'll have walked 10 minutes in no time. Next thing you know, you'll start looking forward to getting out.
  • Focus on the benefits: fresh air, time away for yourself, and a chance to see what's going on around the neighbourhood. These are all things you would miss just zooming by in a car.

Add an extra 5 minutes one week at a time

  • It may not seem like a lot of exercise, but that's the point. By adding five minutes each day, it won't seem like a big deal. Nevertheless, those minutes can make an impact on your blood sugar. After all, it adds up to 25 minutes of extra walking time each week.
  • Pick an official walk-week start day like Sunday or Monday and tack on five minutes that day, then stick to your new routine until you move forward by another five.
  • Aim to build up to at least 45 minutes a day. If you start with 10 minutes and stay on track, that will take you eight weeks. Even before you reach that mark, you'll trim weight from your body, and maintaining your routine will keep the weight off.
  • Want to continue improving after your eight weeks are up? Crank up the intensity by walking faster or more often.

Take a day to reassess

One day a week, preferably in the middle of your weekly walking cycle, check in with yourself. This is a chance to decide whether you should make adjustments to your program. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is it hard to get motivated to walk because the effort seems daunting?
  • Do I feel tired after I finish a walk?
  • Does walking cause any kind of pain?
  • Do I feel invigorated and full of energy?
  • Does the amount I'm walking seem too easy?
  • Am I free from uncomfortable soreness or any damage to my feet?

If you answer yes to any of the first three questions (and especially if you're clinically obese) trim today's walk back by five minutes. If exercise feels punishing, you're not likely to stick with it, so don't feel like you have to push yourself beyond what you're ready for. Maybe you're just tired today. Tomorrow, go back to this week's walking time. If you still feel fatigued and sluggish then, stick with five fewer minutes for the rest of this week. When you feel comfortable adding another five minutes, proceed with the plan.

If you answer yes to any of the last three questions, add another five minutes to your walk today. You're clearly capable of more, and this is a chance to push yourself. Tomorrow, either stick with the new time goal or revert to the week's original plan.

Walking seems like the easiest thing in the world, but most people still don't do it enough. The benefits are plentiful and there are virtually no drawbacks as long as you're careful about injuries and strains. So use this guide and start walking. Your body and blood sugar will be better for it.

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