Stretching exercises for people with diabetes are focused on the muscles, nerves, and joints that often are under stress due to high blood sugar levels. Further in this article, we will discuss all the exercises available to tone your muscles and add flexibility which will significantly reduce nerve and joint stiffness and ease your muscles cramps. So, read further to get the complete guide to the most effective exercises to ease your joint, nerve, and muscle discomforts resulting from diabetes or any other physical ailment that you may have.
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One of the major reasons stretching exercises are recommended for people with diabetes is that studies have shown that stretching helps activate better the circulation of blood vessels in the muscles and joints, allowing the cells to absorb glucose more efficiently. Stretching exercises for diabetes aim to improve insulin sensitivity which is affected due to constant rise in blood sugar levels. The constant rise in glucose levels renders the cells insensitive to insulin, resulting in the cells not being able to absorb the glucose for providing energy to the body.
As much as stretching exercises are beneficial for people with diabetes and without diabetes alike, you can get the posture and exercises wrong, if not done correctly. These exercises are not meant to be done like warm-ups to warm the cold muscles. Stretching the cold muscles can result in cramps and stiffness, so a light jog or movement before stretching is suggested.
Not every stretching exercise is meant for you, as we are all different in our ways. Stretching exercises for people with diabetes are meant to improve blood circulation throughout the body, improving glucose absorption by the cells. So, focus on exercises that you enjoy and make you feel better rather than imitating a celebrity or any other known figure whose goal could be completely different from yours. The aim of your exercise should not be the extent of pain you feel as you might end up cramping. Rather, focus on exercises that you enjoy or make you feel better to be consistent.
The hamstring muscle is responsible for supporting your hips and legs, which is why people with diabetes need to focus on this muscle to improve their hip and leg flexibility. You can do this anywhere as you just need a place to either lie down or sit with some support to your legs. Follow these steps for stretching the hamstring muscle.
You can do this stretch with your legs apart as well and do it on one leg at a time with both your hands touching each of them.
Calf muscles are the muscles at the back of your lower leg that stretch from behind the knee to almost the ankle. Tight calf muscles can result in severe leg cramps and difficulty in walking. Do these steps to each of your calf muscles.
Repeat this with the other leg for a few times. This exercise can also be done without having a wall around. Just stand in the same position with your right or left leg in front of the other. The heel of the leg behind should be pressed against the floor.
The shoulder and neck are some of the most vulnerable places because physical stress shows up frequently. Like the lower body, the upper body can also be under physical stress. The exercises to relieve pain from these areas need to be done with caution. Here's an easy stretching exercise that will ease the shoulder and neck pain by loosening the tension on the upper body.
Physical stress is frequently felt on the neck and shoulder, which are more vulnerable than the leg muscles. So, do this stretching exercise for shoulders to relieve cramps and tight muscles.
Stretching exercises for diabetes are necessary to help the cells absorb the glucose from the blood efficiently, which will help increase insulin sensitivity. Stretching exercises help control the blood sugar levels and improve metabolism and reduce stiffness and pain in the muscles, nerves, and joints, which are among the major symptoms of diabetes. Diabetes can either be a lifestyle or a genetic disorder that can be eased with healthy and proper lifestyle habits. So, being consistent with the exercises will help ease the high glucose levels symptoms.
Some studies have suggested that regular stretching can help improve blood sugar levels. So if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, you can start some mild stretching exercises and move to advanced exercises as you proceed further in your journey. According to studies, stretching can be used to improve circulation in the muscles’ and joints’ tiny blood vessels, enabling more glucose absorption by cells.
Passive stretching exercises have been found to boost oxygen consumption and generate heat production in human muscles. It happens due to the incorporation of GLUT-4 into the stretched muscles. It translates to increased metabolic activity resulting in reduced blood glucose (sugar) levels in muscles.
There are various exercises deemed beneficial for people diagnosed with diabetes. Although beginners should start with mild stretching exercises, they can later be paired with swimming, strength training, climbing stairs, biking, yoga, and more. If you have been living a quiet sedentary lifestyle for a long time, consider hiring a fitness trainer who can curate a personalized exercise plan depending on your health condition.
If you have constantly been reporting high blood sugar levels, you should start exercising to control the levels. Some of the best exercises to help lower your blood sugar level include brisk walking, dancing, hiking, swimming, weight lifting, stretching exercises, running, etc. If you’re just starting, don’t begin with intense and strenuous exercises to prevent any bodily injury. Start with basic exercises and update your plan after a few months with more challenging exercises.
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