HOME / WEIGHT CONTROL / FITNESS

Stretching and balance exercises for diabetics

Stretching exercises help keep your joints flexible, prevent stiffness, and may help reduce your chance of injury during other activities.

 

Gentle stretching for 5 to 10 minutes also helps your body warm up and get ready for aerobic activities such as walking or swimming, but some people find it easier to stretch after their activity ends (and that is fine, too). Some activities that count as flexibility exercises include:

 

• Basic (static) stretches

• Dynamic stretching (such as high knees or back kicks)

• Yoga

• Pilates

• Tai chi

 

It is important to make sure you are doing basic stretching exercises correctly. Stretching should feel mild and relaxing. It should never feel uncomfortable or painful.

 

Follow the pointers below

 

Do

• Relax as you stretch

• Stretch only to the point that you feel mild tension

• Hold a steady stretch for 5-15 seconds

• For dynamic stretches, keep your movements fluid

• Breathe deeply and slowly as you stretch

• Keep it comfortable

• Ease off the stretch if you feel discomfort

 

Don’t

• Bounce or bob as you stretch

• Focus on tension-creating thoughts

• Hold your breath

• Strain or push to the point of pain

 

Balance Exercises

Building balance helps you stay steady on your feet and can reduce your risk for falling and injuring yourself. Balance exercises are especially important for older adults to incorporate into their exercise routine. Examples of balance exercises include:

 

• Walking backwards or sideways

• Walking heel to toe in a straight line

• Standing on one leg at a time

• Standing from a sitting position

• Both lower body and core muscle strength training also help improve balance. (*Adapted from I Hate to Exercise, 2nd edition, by Charlotte Hayes, MMSc, MS, RD, CDE. ©American Diabetes Association)

 

Photo: Fotolia

More YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

TOP 5 ARTICLES

  • SUBSCRIBE TO OUR

    NEWSLETTER

    Subscribe to our free newsletter and get articles and tips about your personal interests in your own inbox every week.

    SUBSCRIBE