Walking with Diabetes

Walking is one of the best baseline exercises out there for someone who lives with diabetes, and Bloomington has several nice places to step out. One of these locales, the B-Line Trail, runs 3.1 miles (or about 5K) through downtown Bloomington, connecting to two other trails in the process. There are benches and drinking fountains if you want to take a quick break, and even a couple fitness stations to concentrate on working certain parts of the body (like your feet and ankles, perhaps?).

While it might not be thought of as very beneficial compared to a more high-impact cardio activity like running, it has some great perks when it comes to helping control certain aspects of diabetes. A good trek can help lower blood glucose levels, improve the body’s use of insulin, have a positive effect on cholesterol levels, lower stress, and reduce the risks of heart disease and circulatory problems.

One of the best parts about starting this form of exercise is its low cost of entry and the ability to easily jump in. If you’re starting cold on this whole “being active” thing, try starting with a 10-minute walk each day. You don’t want to leisurely stroll as much as keep up a brisk pace, but you still want to find a comfortable speed that won’t have you burning out. Also make sure you’re wearing a comfortable and well-fitting pair of walking shoes for the job to help prevent pain and injuries.

As you build strength and conditioning, add more time to your walks. Another 3-5 minutes per week is good, with an ultimate goal of 30 minutes for 5 days each week. If you don’t match these numbers, though, don’t worry too much about it. The most important part is that you’re working your stamina upward, regardless of your pace at doing so.

If you have diabetic sores on your feet, you may not be able to be on your feet this much. For more advice on which forms of exercise would be best for your diabetic feet, Dr. Kevin Powers is happy to help. Call our West 3rd Street office at (812) 333-4422 to schedule an appointment and learn more about how we can help keep your feet at their best.