Wednesday 18 April 2012

Open a Book ~ HAWMC, Day 18

Open a Book. Choose a book and open it to a random page and point to a phrase. Use that phrase to get you writing today. Free write for 15-20 minutes without stopping.

Quite: "Your body was designed to move." From: The Book of Better by Chuck Eichten.

I love this quote, and I love that Eichten includes a chapter towards the end of The Book of Better on the importance of exercise for people with diabetes. Exercise is one of the best possible things we can do for our  bodies regardless of age, sex, fitness level, or health condition. The simple of act of moving the body has so many benefits.

The importance of exercise on a regular basis cannot be ignored. And I'm not talking about hard-core marathon running or extreme sports; I'm talking about going for a daily walk, riding a bike, or playing a sport. It doesn't really matter what it is, as long as it involves movement (ideally for an hour), is done regularly (at least 3 times per week, but daily is better), and elevates the heart rate. Simple.

Reaping the benefits is immediate and extensive too. Regular exercise helps maintain a healthy body weight, reduces stress, lowers risk of heart disease and some cancers, reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, enhances sleep, combats depression, and provides energy. Not only that, the endorphins released during exercise make the body and mind feel great. Yes, exercising regularly makes us happy. Simple.

For those with type 1 diabetes, exercise has a whole other slew of benefits. Yes, it can be tricky to find that balance to get ideal blood sugar numbers before, during, and after exercise, but the benefits are too good to ignore. Exercise lowers blood sugar, thus reducing the body's need for insulin. Period. Exercise has also help reduce the massive fluctuations in blood sugar. What does this mean? It means that when moving, the blood sugar of person with type 1 diabetes stays closer to ideal range. And of course, the more the blood sugar stays in the "ideal range" the better the body feels. Simple.

Excuses for why NOT to exercise will always abound. But seriously, with all of the benefits, and the pure ease with which we can move, it's really a no-brainer. Exercise = better health = better life. Simple.

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