I am a diabetic but would like to do some exercise. How much can I do and for how long?
Dear Diabetic Reader,
Please speak to your doctor about setting up an appropriate exercise program. Exercise is essential to treating diabetes proactively. It can help control your blood sugar levels, reduce your need for insulin, control your weight and manage your appetite.
For many diabetics, care of the feet is extremely important. If you fear overdoing it, the solution is becoming informed. Believe me, you can exercise. You just need a plan. Starting slowly and building up your endurance is a good idea.
But your doctor should assess your overall health and help you get started. Ask for advice on special conditions you may have, such as clogged arteries, heart disease, peripheral neuropathy, etc. It seems that many doctors are reluctant to prescribe exercise because they don't have enough information about it, or they assume their patients don't want to take charge of their own health enough to follow through. If your doctor dismisses your need for an exercise program, find another doctor! Good Luck!
What is the proper way to racewalk? It looks strange, but I've heard it's good for you.
Racewalking involves using your upper body, hips and arms in a vigorous way, and straightening your knee when your body passes over the standing leg. It's a great total-body exercise for anyone and I'd suggest reading about it and finding a coach if at all possible.
You can also tune in to a great video; Jeff Salvage's "Walk Like An Athlete" really shows you the ins and outs of racewalking. To order it call 800-575-4677. It's worth every penny if you really want to learn the sport.
Can you recommend some flab-reducing techniques for arms that I can do while walking? I'd like to get rid of the flab and dimples I'm starting to see on my arms!
Dear Healthy Reader,
Just using your arms while you walk will do some good. First, try walking with your elbows bent and your arms swinging firmly.
But if you really want to tone your arms and banish those dimples, you'll need to lift weights. Light, two- to five-pound weights are fine to start. Do exercises that target the tricep and bicep muscles. I don't recommend walking with weights -- you're not likely to do much for your arms except strain them, and you endanger your back by carrying a weight or extending it out in front of your body