Diabetes Tip: Get Wet!

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Filed Under: Diabetes, Exercise, Blood Sugar, General Health
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

I’ve been extremely active my entire life, but as I approached 60, I was getting discouraged. I diabetes tip: get wet!couldn’t find an exercise program I could stick with. So I hired a personal trainer to keep me on track, but I hurt my knee and elbow and was more discouraged than ever. As you’re probably aware, as you age, you recover from injuries more slowly, and your ability to do vigorous activities is substantially reduced.

Around this time I read an article in an in-flight magazine that described the benefits of swimming. I started swimming that day and, “Voila!” A new exercise passion was born.

It took a few months but I was able to work up to about three-quarters of a mile (1,200 yards) almost every day. It takes about 45 minutes with 15-second rests after each 50-yard lap, and I find myself actually looking forward to it.

Water supports your weight so your joints don’t take the pounding they receive when you exercise on land, making it ideal for people with arthritis or musculoskeletal injuries. In addition, you can swim or exercise in water regardless of your age or physical condition.

Swimming also requires the use of every muscle in your body. If you’re riding a bike or jogging, you are using primarily your leg and hip muscles. If you’re lifting weights, you are using mostly the muscles in your upper body. When you swim—you use everything.

Water exercise also tends to limber up your joints and muscles, whereas exercising on land, particularly with weights, tends to tighten them up. In addition, you can easily modify your activity level by changing your swimming speed.

I’m personally sold on the benefits of swimming and other forms of water exercise, including water aerobics classes that are offered at many pools. If you’ve got an exercise program that’s working, stick with it. But if you’re looking for something new, it might be time to take the plunge.
 

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