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How Moving Your Body Helps You Tackle Stress with Diabetes 

Moving your body is a fantastic way to deal with stress – especially for individuals living with diabetes. Let’s explore how moving your body can be a game-changer for managing stress and diabetes. 

Stress and Diabetes: What’s the Connection? 

Living with diabetes means you’re juggling a lot: monitoring your blood sugar, keeping up with medications, and managing diet. This can bring on stress, which is a normal part of life, but too much of it can make managing diabetes harder.  

The Magic of Movement 

Moving your body can be one of the best tools for handling stress. Whether it’s dancing to your favorite songs, taking a brisk walk in the park, or playing a sport with friends, all these activities help your body produce feel-good hormone called endorphins. These hormones are like nature’s stress-relievers, making you feel happier and more relaxed. 

Here are some other ways movement can help your body: 

  1. Movement Helps Keep Blood Sugar in Check
    Regular physical activity helps your body use insulin better. This means your body can keep your blood sugar levels within a more normal range, which is super important to prevent complications when you have diabetes. 
  1. Movement Boosts Your Mood 
    Ever heard of the “runner’s high”? That’s endorphins at work! Exercise can lift your spirits, reduce anxiety, and make you feel more positive overall. It’s like hitting a “refresh” button for your mood. 
  1. Movement Improves Sleep
    Having trouble sleeping? Exercise can help with that too! By moving more during the day, you might find it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Better sleep means less stress and a happier you. 
  1. Movement Strengthens Your Heart
    Exercising is great for your heart, keeping it strong and healthy. Since people living with diabetes are at a higher risk for developing heart disease, finding activities that get your heart rate up is a big win. 

Tips to Get Moving 

Now, you might be thinking, “Exercise sounds great, but what can I do?” Starting an exercise routine can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some easy ways to incorporate more movement into your day: 

  1. Have Fun with your Movement
    Whether it’s a sport, dancing, or yoga, doing something you enjoy means you’re more likely to stick with it. 
  1. Set Realistic Goals 
    Start small and gradually increase your activity level. Even 10 minutes of walking a day is a great beginning. 
  1. Make it a Group Activity
    Exercise with friends or family. It’s more fun and can help keep you motivated. 
  1. Listen to Your Body
    Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise plan, especially if you have any concerns about your health. 

Moving On… 

Remember, moving your body is not just about managing diabetes—it’s also about taking care of your overall mental and physical health. By finding ways to stay active, you’re giving yourself a powerful tool to deal with stress, feel better, and enjoy life more. So, get moving and leave your stress and sugar worries in the dust!  

Author: Amanda C. Tovar, RDN, LD, CDCES, CLC | CCS Health       

This site is for educational purposes only. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider before making any decisions about your health.