Getting more active
Our bodies are designed to move, even if modern society has made it easy to do anything but that. You may sit at a desk or in front of a computer all day and then come home and watch TV or put your feet up and read. It takes a special effort to incorporate exercise and physical activity into your day. But that effort is worth it. Exercise and increased activity bring a bounty of health benefits — especially if you have diabetes.
The information in this chapter can help you get started on the road to a more active life. You don't have to knock yourself out to reap the benefits of activity. For most people with diabetes, a moderate amount of exercise can improve their fitness and help control their disease. Even if you've never exercised before, you'll benefit from being more active.
First, a word about definitions. Physical activity is any body movement that burns calories, such as mowing the lawn, making the bed or walking up stairs. Exercise also burns calories, but it follows a planned series of repetitive movements designed to strengthen or develop all or part of your body. Exercise includes walking, swimming, bicycling and many other activities. Both physical activity and exercise are valuable to your health.