Walking is one of the highly recommended forms of physical activity for people with diabetes. It is easy to do and can be done anywhere. But it also has tremendous health benefits in helping control blood glucose levels.
“Walking every day for at least 30 minutes can help improve glucose, cardiovascular health and help control weight,” said Beckie Crisman, RN, CDE at ThedaCare’s Diabetes Education program.
Because walking is such an integral part of managing diabetes, the Waupaca Diabetes Support group will offer a unique program entitled “Let’s Move.” This event will be a “walking support group meeting” and takes place on Tuesday, June 3 at 1 p.m. Participants should plan to meet the Diabetes Education office in the 900 building at Riverside Medical Center.
For this unique “walking support group meeting,” participants should come prepared to walk outside, weather permitting. The certified diabetes educator leading the meeting will give participants a free pedometer, show them how to use it, and then the group will take a walk. “Increasing activity improves diabetes numbers,” said Crisman.
Exercise like walking helps muscles absorb blood sugar, preventing it from building up in the bloodstream. “This effect on blood sugar can last for hours or even days,” said Crisman. “But it is important to walk regularly for continued blood glucose control. A good way to start a walking program is to use a pedometer, which can help you measure your progress and set walking goals.”
Walking also provides better cardiovascular fitness, which is important because those with diabetes are at increased risk for heart disease. Regular walking burns calorie, helping diabetics control weight, which also reduces other health risks.
“There are also benefits of walking with others,” said Crisman. “Friends help you stay motivated, providing encouragement when days get busy or bad weather or holidays make it tempting to skip walking.”
A group like the diabetes support group can also help people with diabetes stay on track and provide valuable connections and information.
The “Let’s Move” program is free, but participation is limited, so pre-registration is required. To register for “Let’s Move,” call (715) 258-1119.