8 benefits of walking for diabetics to keep health in check

There are multiple benefits of walking for diabetics - from weight management to increased blood circulation and energy. Know all about it!
A woman doing the 8-shaped walking outdoors
Walking is the easiest physical activity for diabetics. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Purvi Kalra Published: 4 Dec 2023, 08:59 am IST
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Diabetes is a chronic metabolic condition that affects the way our body utilises glucose. This condition arises when the pancreas is unable to release enough insulin for the body or when the body is unable to make proper use of the insulin our pancreas secrete. Also, diabetes poses a threat to various other health complications like nerve damage, diabetic eye disease, kidney disease, heart disease, and stroke. If you are suffering from chronic health conditions such as diabetes, it is crucial that you look out for ways to incorporate exercise into your lifestyle. Yes, we get that today’s lifestyle is challenging and there is a paucity of time to work out. However, you can pursue something as simple as walking to keep your blood sugar levels under check.

Health Shots got in touch with Diabetology and Endocrinology specialist Dr Girish Parmar, to understand the benefits of walking for diabetics.

benefits of walking for diabetics
If you suffer from diabetes, consider including walking into your everyday routine . Image courtesy: Adobe Stock

Why is walking important if you have diabetes?

The expert sheds light on the various benefits of walking for diabetics, especially those with type 2 diabetes.

1. Blood sugar control

Regular walking helps lower blood sugar levels by enhancing insulin sensitivity, allowing cells to use glucose effectively. This reduces the need for excess insulin production and aids in managing diabetes.

2. Weight management

Walking contributes to weight loss or maintenance, reducing excess body fat. This, in turn, improves blood sugar control and decreases the risk of complications associated with obesity in diabetes.

To know more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of diabetes, click here!

3. Improved cardiovascular health

It is known that any form of physical activity improves cardiovascular health and also has many other benefits for both the mental and physical body. “Walking aids in lowering down blood pressure, thus boosting heart health by improving cholesterol levels and curbing the risk of cardiovascular diseases, a common complication of diabetes,” says Dr Girish Parmar.

4. Enhanced circulation

Walking stimulates blood flow, promoting better circulation, which is crucial for individuals with diabetes, as they may experience reduced circulation due to the disease.

Also read: Walking after a meal will keep diseases at bay: Know how many steps you should take

5. Stress reduction

Any form of consistent physical activity like walking aids in reducing stress by releasing endorphins, helps in keeping the mood stable, and potentially lowers cortisol levels, which can impact blood sugar levels.

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benefits of walking for diabetics
Manage diabetes with simple exercise like walking. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

6. Increased energy levels

Suffering from an illness like diabetes can lower your energy levels, leaving you feeling weary all the time. Fluctuations in blood sugar levels also have a bad impact on the body’s energy. Engaging in regular walks can enhance overall energy levels and combat fatigue often associated with diabetes.

7. Improved insulin sensitivity

The expert says, “Consistent walking amps up the sensitivity of the body to insulin, increasing glucose absorption by cells, ultimately leading to improved management of diabetes”.

8. Joint flexibility and strength

Walking supports joint health by improving flexibility and strength, which is beneficial for individuals with diabetes who might be prone to joint issues.

How many steps should a diabetic walk a day?

According to the American Diabetes Association, walking at least 30 minutes a day or 10,000 steps a day should be routine for anyone going through blood sugar level issues. But it may differ from person-to-person, depending on age and stamina.

Incorporating walking into a daily routine, combined with a healthy diet and proper medical management, can significantly improve the overall health and well-being of individuals living with diabetes. However, individuals must consult with healthcare professionals to personalise their exercise regimen based on individual health conditions and needs.

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About the Author

After testing her skill-set in the field of management and marketing, Purvi Kalra is exploring the world of turning thoughts to words. Her penchant for writing stems for being an avid reader all her life. Her work drives her to be better every day. ...Read More

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