Exercise plus staying active throughout the day is important for good health for everyone. Combining healthy eating, staying active and exercise can help manage weight and blood glucose and blood glucose levels, and can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Physical activity helps to -
- Improve bone and muscle strength, flexibility and endurance
- Improve the body’s use of insulin
- Lower blood glucose
- Lower blood pressure and manage cholesterol levels
- Decrease fatigue in daily activities
- Improve quality of sleep
- Lower stress
- Enhance quality of life
- Manage weight
The evidence is now clear that the more we sit, the higher the risk for conditions such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
It turns out that this risk is there even if you regularly go to a gym for exercise. Called ‘active couch potato’ syndrome it is when people regularly exercise but also have jobs and lifestyles that keep them in their chair the most of the day.
A recent study found that people reporting four hours or less sitting per day were less likely to have cancer, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. This same study also found that there isn’t a magic number of hours of sitting, but rather no matter how much time we spend sitting - sitting less is helpful. To reduce sitting consider -
- Take frequent breaks to stretch your legs and stay fresh
- Watching less television or doing household tasks during a favourite show
- Leaving your desk to talk with your co-worker instead of sending the email
It may also be that sitting too much impacts sleep quality and a number of other important health factors. There’s a simple message to follow: move more, sit less, sleep better!
Too cold to go outside
OUR BODIES ARE MEANT TO MOVE - TYPES OF EXERCISE
|Aerobic (cardio) exercise uses large muscle groups and requires oxygen for sustained periods||Examples –
Walking, swimming, pushing a lawn mower, taking a dance class, biking – all types of activities count.
WHY CARDIO Cardio is short for cardiovascular, referring to the heart. Cardiovascular exercise raises the heart rate and keeps it elevated for a period of time. Cardio gets us breathing harder and our hearts beating faster and blood circulating.
|People with type 2 diabetes are advised to aim for 30-45 minutes a day, 3-5 days a week, or 150 minutes a week of aerobic exercise|
|Strength (anaerobic) exercise uses large muscles which do not require oxygen for short periods of exercise||Examples –
Using weights for repetitive exercises to build muscle.
Weights used can be as simple as a can of soup or a packet of rice. Progressive strength training has shown benefits when people progress to three sets of approximately eight exercises at moderately high intensity (eight repetitions at the maximum weight that can be lifted eight times). In strength training, it is better to use repetitive light weights than heavy weights. International Diabetes Federation 2005
|People with diabetes are encouraged to do resistance exercise 3 times a week.
WHY STRENGTH BUILDING EXERCISE Different types of strength decline at different rates especially with age. Strengthening exercises increase muscle strength by putting more strain on a muscle than it is normally accustomed to receiving. This increased load stimulates the growth of proteins inside muscle cells.Strength training can provide significant functional benefits and improvement in overall health and well-being, including increased bone and muscle strength, improved joint function, reduced potential for injury, increased bone density increased metabolism improved cardiac function
|Flexibility exercises are typically stretching exercises aimed at keeping muscles elastic and increasing or maintaining a range of motion at joints||Examples –
Stretching, bowls, yoga, washing the car
|FLEXIBILITY is often downplayed as unimportant to fitness. However, flexibility training is imperative to maintain a full range of motion (ROM) of joints, particularly in individuals with type 2 diabetes, who may experience limited joint mobility. Conditions such as “frozen shoulder” are common complaints in type 2 diabetes. American Diabetes Association|
Examples of suitable activities for older people
|Moderate-intensity aerobic activities||Strength activities||Flexibility activities||Balance activities|
|Cycling||Carrying shopping||Ankle stretches||Bowls|
|Fast dancing||Chair raises||Bowls||Chair raises|
|Golf||Cycling||Gardening||Cycling < 14 km/h|
|Housework||Hill walking||Housework||Modified tai chi|
|Kapa haka||Knee lifts||Kapa haka||Otago Exercise Programme|
|Kaumātua line dancing||Modified tai chi||Kilikiti||Petanque
|Playing with grandchildren||Stair climbing||Modified tai chi||Pilates|
|Stair climbing||Swimming||Otago Exercise Programme||Poi toa|
|Strenuous gardening||Waka ama||Petanque||Social dancing|
|Swimming||Water aerobics||Pilates||Standing on one leg|
|Walking||Weight training||Stretching||Waka ama|
|Waka ama||Washing the car||Yoga|
Ministry of Health Guidelines on Physical Activity for Older People (aged 65 years and over)
Exercise and arthritis