How to start exercising

If you’re living with diabetes or just trying to stay healthy, there are many ways you can take control of your health. Becoming physically active can be challenging, so be sure to talk to your healthcare team about what level of activity is right for you.

Here are 3 essential guidelines to get you started:

1. Increase physical activity in your day and reduce sedentary time
Choose active options when you can, such as taking the stairs or gardening. Limit TV or recreational computer use to no more than two hours per day and reduce or break up the time you spend sitting.

2. Begin regular physical activity
Start by exercising every second day. Do activities like brisk walking, cycling, or swimming for at least 10 minutes at a time. Do at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week, spread over three separate days. Don’t go for more than two days in a row without exercise. Gradually increase the time of your activity sessions and try to increase the intensity or challenge.

3. Begin regular resistance exercise
With the help of a qualified exercise professional, diabetes educator, or exercise resource (such as a video or brochure), learn how to do a muscle strength building routine using weight machines, free weights (such as a barbell or dumbbells), resistance bands, or your own body weight. To work most of the muscles in your body, you will need 8 to 10 different exercises at light to moderate intensity.

Remember to speak with your healthcare team to ask questions or advice.

CARP is dedicated to fighting diabetes in Canada and is very pleased to be working with the Canadian Diabetes Association, as diabetes is one of the most prevalent and fastest growing conditions amongst older Canadians today. The Canadian Diabetes Association’s mission is to lead the fight against diabetes by helping people with diabetes live healthy lives while working to find a cure. For every 1-year membership and Zoomer magazine subscription sold to Canadian Diabetes Association members, $10 will be donated to the Association, and for every 3-year membership and Zoomer magazine subscription, we will donate $25. To take advantage of this special offer and help lead the fight against diabetes, click here.