Pre-diabetes sounds like something that only affects your grandparents, right?
Well, not necessarily. Millions of Americans are at risk for prediabetes and don’t even know it. Changing your lifestyle now will help you avoid becoming part of that statistic.
“Many health conditions can improve or even be reversed through healthy lifestyle changes. If you make the investment now, it will preserve your health as you age and allow you to continue doing the things you love to do,” says Traci Heiner, supervisor of Cardiac Rehabilitation at Utah Valley Hospital.
Regular exercise and being active are essential to creating a healthier lifestyle, but that can be intimidating if your activity level has been low. Luckily, there’s a variety of beginning exercises you can do to increase your heart rate, jump-start your metabolism, and kick your pre-diabetic lifestyle goodbye.
Strength Exercises to Help Prevent Prediabetes
Excess weight can be taxing on wrists while doing push-ups, but wall push-ups work the same muscles, without all of the wrist strain.
- Place your hands shoulder-width apart firmly on the wall.
- Take a few steps back until you are at a slight incline.
- Keeping your elbows close to your body, rather than pushing them out like you would on a floor push-up, lower until your nose touches the wall.
- Extend back to starting position, and begin again.
As your strength increases, try moving to regular push-ups, starting with your knees down if necessary.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with your weight spread evenly on your feet.
- Begin bending your knees to lower yourself while keeping your chest up.
- Your hands may reach up towards the sky to help with balance, or can be placed on your hips.
- Try and get as low as you can, aiming for your knee to create a 90 degree angle.
- Then stand back up to starting position. Repeat.
As your strength increases, try doing a knee lift in between every squat, alternating knees each time.
- Standing with your feet a little wider than hip-width distance apart, extend your arms out, so you make an “T” shape.
- Begin making very small circles with your arms, while keeping your arms straight.
- After 30 seconds, switch directions.
As your strength increases, try adding light weights while you’re doing the circles and increasing the time for each direction.
- Place your hands on your hips and your feet close together.
- Step forward with your right foot, and while bending your front knee, lower until your front knee is a 90-degree angle, and your back knee almost touches the ground.
- Step your right foot back to starting position.
- Step forward with your left foot and repeat.
As your strength increases, try adding light weights as you lunge.
Complete each movement as many times as possible for a minute, then switch. Aim for three rounds.
Cardiovascular Exercises to Help Prevent Prediabetes
Another important aspect of exercise is cardio. Often times, cardio has a bad reputation. People hate cardio because it’s hard and often isn’t any fun. However, it can be!
Three times a week, try to do something you like that gets your heart rate up at the same time.
- Go on a walk with someone you love or take your pet on a stroll.
- Go to an exercise class with friends.
- Depending on the time of year, you can explore the mountains by hiking or snowshoeing.
- If you like to run, switch off between running and walking so you don’t burn yourself out.