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Walking

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Walking is a form of exercise that should be a regular habit. About 30 minutes of brisk walking four to five days a week can do wonders for your mood and physical condition.

Walking reduces the risks of heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and obesity. Moreover, it also enhances mental agility, and a feeling of well-being continues to linger throughout the waking hours.

To top all these benefits, walking is free!

TipsEdit

  • A good pair of walking shoes are must to have comfortable walking experience and avoid injuries. They should be replaced at the first signs of wear and tear. Comfortable socks are also important.
  • The distance covered should be increased gradually to build up the stamina. One may use a pedometer, a small device attached to the belt. It records the steps taken, which may be converted into miles covered.
  • It is a good idea to take a friend or family member with you while walking. This keeps company, as well as a sense of security for persons with diabetes.
  • Size of the steps should be increased gradually to improve the distance covered.
  • Parking car at a parking place slightly away from the place of work is a good idea as it will make you walk for some extra minutes every day.
  • Persons with diabetes should be careful while watching - they should be aware of their body and feelings while walking. They should watch for certain feelings like the feelings of weakness, being drowsy and confused, rapid heart beats and sweating, coldness in the body particularly legs, etc. In case, such feelings continue, one should stop walking and take some rest. They should also be able to understand the feelings caused by hypoglycemia. If the symptoms do not subside, medical consultation may be required.
  • Sometime before you start the walk, you should drink a glass of water, and again take water after you finish the walk. Sometimes, during the walk too, some water may be required depending on your physical condition.
  • persons with diabetes should carry a piece of light snack with them which they may use if the feeling of acute hunger arises. This may be on account of the body unable to manage the blood sugar at the normal level.
  • Morning walk is mostly better as you will find the air around unpolluted. You may also walk one or two hours after taking meals.
  • Persons with diabetes should ascertain their blood sugar before starting the walk. Below average level of blood sugar (below 100 mg/dl) indicates that before starting the walk, some food is required, say 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates. On the other hand, a high level of blood sugar (250 mg/dl if Type 2 diabetes or over 200 mg/dl if Type 1 diabetes indicates that you should wait until the blood sugar comes down to the normal level. Please also remember that with walking or any other form of exercise, the intake of insulin or other medication will change. This should be adjusted in consultation with your physician.
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PrecautionsEdit

Awareness of certain precautions may avoid problems associated with walking, particularly if a person with diabetes desires to start walking:

  • It is advisable to consult your doctor before starting any new walking program;
  • You should preferably take a "stress test" if you are over 35;
  • Before commencing excercise and after completing it, you should test your blood sugar if you are a person with diabetes;
    • Please stop the exercise program if the level of blood sugar is over 250 mg/dl and urine test reveals presence of ketones;
    • If blood sugar is over 250 mg/dl and not ketones are found in urine, persons with Type 1 diabetes should stop walking program if blood sugar is over 300 mg/dl, and persons with Type 2 diabetes should stop walking program if blood sugar is over 400 mg/dl.
  • In case, the level of blood sugar is found to be low, it is also a matter of concern for persons with diabetic. In such cases, one should start walking only after 30 minutes of taking some snacks, drinking plenty of water should help; and while walking carrying some sweet snacks (or juice / glucose tablets) are advisable for use if one feels sudden lowering on blood sugar during waking.
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See alsoEdit

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