Diabetes Health Type 2: Exercising During The Winter Months
I am a firm believer that regular exercise is key when it comes to managing diabetes. Walking, jogging, swimming, or any physical activity that gets my heart rate up is good medicine for me. While it is comfortable to walk, bike, or jog during the warmer months, it is when the weather turns cold that I have to psych myself out in order to stay active. Because of my time in the military, I’ve learned that weather is no excuse not to do what needs to be done, and I apply the same principle to exercising in the cold. Here are a few things that I do to help get m though the cold.
- Dress appropriately– While it is tempting to put on a big coat, thermal underwear, and everything else to keep you warm, doing so will cause you to overheat, and not get the most out of your exercise. I typically dress in a few light layers with a cap and gloves. The advantage of layering is that I can always take off something in the event that I get too hot, and the light layers allow me to go get more out of my exercise rather than if I had on a heavy coat. The potential of neuropathy is an added concern that a lot of diabetics have so I add a good pair of wool socks for added protection.
- 2. Exercise Indoors– Sometimes the weather gets so cold that it just doesn’t pay to venture outdoors to exercise. In these instances I use a treadmill, exercise bike, or lift weights. Gyms and YMCAs are excellent places to exercise indoors but you’ll have to make an effort to go there as it is all too tempting to just stay in the bed.
- Exercise during the warmer times of the day– It is arguably colder in the mornings than it is at lunchtime, or in the evenings. A 10 or 20 degree rise in temperature can mean the difference between comfort and discomfort so switching your exercise to another time in the day may be beneficial.
At the end of the day it takes serious dedication to exercising in the cold but in the end, your lab results will show that it was well worth the effort.