The Role of Exercise in Diabetic Senior Care


Accessible Home Health Care

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Posted on

Jan 10, 2024


Florida - Southwest

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  For individuals diagnosed with diabetes, managing care can involve quite a few things to remember. As we age, these things become even more vital to our continued successful health maintenance.

The most important aspect of our health management that we should always adhere to is exercise. No matter our age, being able to engage in physical and cardiovascular activities ensures that our diabetes remains manageable.

What does this mean for seniors? For starters, it means keeping an open dialogue with your or your loved one’s doctor to navigate what your body can handle in the way of physical exertion. Knowing where to start is half the challenge.

Once you know your loved one’s capabilities, you can encourage daily movement that translates into better health for them overall. With their diabetes under control, the other parts of their health, physical and mental, will fall into place.

How Exercise Helps Manage Diabetes

With diabetes, the main concern is ensuring your body remains healthy and has no long-term adverse effects. Common health complications range from heart disease, chronic kidney issues, nerve damage, and other mental health concerns.

How your loved one approaches diabetes depends on whether your loved one is Type 1 or Type 2. As many know, Type 1 is a direct result of your pancreas being unable to properly break down sugars in your blood, whereas Type 2 can go into remission with the right combination of diet and exercise.

Therefore, one of the most significant factors in successfully maintaining positive health with diabetes comes from consistent exercise. Knowing the benefits of such actions will go a long way toward better understanding the why behind it and getting your loved one to participate actively.

So, how does exercise help you and your loved one manage your diabetes? Here are some of the ways.

  • Increases insulin sensitivity – which makes the body more likely to absorb the hormone properly
  • Control blood sugar levels
  • Keeps blood pressure within the healthy range
  • Lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight
  • Improved balance and flexibility
  • Sleep better
  • Feel less stressed

Keeping up with your overall physical health will, in turn, help you and your loved one manage your diabetes. After all, diabetes is a disease that affects all areas of your body.

The next step toward this healthy goal is understanding what exercises will best benefit you and your loved ones.

Exercise Suggestions for Seniors

A significant concern for many seniors revolves around mobility. Therefore, many are hesitant to remain active, fearing they might further hurt themselves.

The good news is that you can easily find an exercise routine that works for you or your loved one’s mobility strengths by communicating with your doctors and care team. Every exercise suggestion below can be adjusted based on your capabilities.

Walking/Dancing – This exercise suggestion aims to get your whole body up and moving around. Your body will not only reap the benefits of keeping your muscles active, but this activity can help maintain a healthy weight, ensure better heart health, and lower blood sugar levels.

Yoga – This is another exercise that gets your body moving while also helping to lower stress levels, which in turn helps manage diabetes care. Yoga helps reduce blood sugar levels, which can jumpstart your ability to maintain a healthy weight and continued body flexibility.

Swimming – Getting in the water to exercise is accessible to just about anyone, regardless of abilities, and allows the health benefits from walking or yoga to be seen more effectively. The water makes movements low-impact, especially on your joints, which can ensure that flexibility and mobility increase.

Daily Chores/Activities – This might be the easiest way for you or your loved one to get the exercise needed to manage your diabetes on the most basic level. Moving your body in any kind of way will help. Therefore, actively participating in everyday activities can go a long way toward positive health.

No matter what kind of exercise you or your loved one chooses, make sure it remains consistent and achievable. It is recommended that you achieve 150 minutes of exercise a week, but do what works best for you.

Diabetes care starts with good nutrition, exercise, and positive mental health. Knowing how to achieve each of these, especially exercise, means your loved one will continue to live a happy and healthy life.

Keeping the Motivation Alive

Exercise is easy enough to achieve as long as you put the time in to discover the best course of action. However, individuals with diabetes are often working against their own mental health to stay on top of the proper care.

One of the significant side effects of diabetes is depression and other negative mental health roadblocks. Therefore, it is essential to remember this when setting up an exercise routine for yourself or your senior loved one.

You can ensure that motivation remains above all else in many ways. First and foremost is getting an exercise buddy to keep your loved one accountable for their daily movement goals.

Having someone there to ensure accountability will go a long way toward your loved one maintaining a positive mental health outlook and their diabetes overall. This buddy can be someone who also has diabetes or at least knows what having diabetes means for you or your loved one.

A professional caregiver can often be a great partner in focusing on personal health and wellness, especially regarding chronic conditions like diabetes. Many of our home health aides at Accessible Home Health Care can address various medical and non-medical needs, suitable for helping seniors remain active and get the assistance they need.

If you believe your loved one would benefit from a caregiver to help them manage daily living with diabetes, let us know. We will work with you to arrange care in the comfort of their home.

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