We grow in life by trials and errors.
Life works like that in many areas except health.
If we make mistakes in health and wellness domain, we get beaten up.
Today, let’s try to know simple aspects of walking with more clarity .
Walking is the simplest and easiest exercise. Most people follow walking as a form of exercise.
Many people walk as per their convenience and availability of time.
Many diabetic people who meet me keeps telling they do walking on a regular basis.
Most of them are not aware of how much walking is required for effective blood sugar control.
How much walking is required for diabetics?
Is it 4400 steps (3.3 km), 6000 steps (4.6km) or 10000 steps(7.6km)/day ?.
Some studies suggest 4400 steps (3.3km) is good enough for optimum sugar control and it has shown to reduce hba1c by 0.4%.
Many type 2 diabetes people are overweight. To have a benefit of weight loss along with blood sugar control, 10k steps or 7.6km walking per day is must.
Why 10k steps? Why not 9k or 11k steps?
10000 steps is a magic number.
Research has shown 10k is more beneficial than 9k and 11k steps walking doesn’t give any additional benefits.
Our ancestors were walking approx. 5 to 7 kms daily.
10k steps walking helps in
a) weight loss
b) reducing insulin resistance (it is the primary cause of type 2 diabetes and obesity )
c) it gives all other benefits of exercise.
How to count steps?
Walking 7.6 km or 10000 steps daily or atleast 5 days a week is not a easy job.
It needs patience and perseverance.
Easiest way to monitor steps is pedometers.it is now available in most of all regular smart phones.
How to prepare for a walk?
- Always use good quality walking shoes which supports your arch and which is flexible.
- Get socks made of fabrics like coolmax that wick away sweat and prevent blisters
- Wear lose comfortable dress.
- Walk with head up and in a comfortable straight posture.
- In the first 10 min of walking, start with slow pace to warm up .
- Attaining 10k steps on first day itself may not be possible for all.
- Start with 3k steps a day then improve it 5 to 6 k over next two weeks and finally 10 k is attainable.
- Always try to walk in alternate slow and fast pace.
- Walking in a company of friends will be motivating and entertaining.
- For a regular and long term practice , find a ‘walking buddy ‘.
What if you can’t walk due to arthritis problem?
This is common excuse i hear from many diabetic people who are suffering from joint problems.
Studies says nearly 50% people avoid walking because of arthritis issue.
Please remember, mild to moderate arthritis is not reason to stop walking.
Walking stabilises muscles and bones.
People with moderate arthritis must walk atleast 20 to 25 min with break in between.
People with severe arthritis may opt for other exercises like stationary cycling, yoga, swimming or resistance training.
Walking alone is not enough.
2 days resistance training per week is required for better diabetes control and fitness.
Still walking is nature’s best preventative medicine.
Walk with mindfulness.
Walking with awareness is like meditation.
There is no excuse to 10k steps walking