Many people living with type 2 diabetes have found that maintaining a fitness regimen along with managing other components of their treatment plan is challenging. However, one good way to stay fit is to walk regularly. Walking is an accessible exercise and a great way to reach your health goals.
AstraZeneca and the Diabetes Hands Foundation have started a new program designed to help people with type 2 diabetes called Everyday Steps. Launched this week, Everyday Steps offers a motivational walking guide formulated to help diabetes patients turn walking into a healthy habit.
Diabetes fitness expert Sheri Colberg, PhD. talked to Brandi Walker about the program and its benefits for type 2 diabetes patients, her other fitness advice for people living with this disease and the future benefits of this new program.
Brandi Walker: Tell me about the Everyday Steps program.
Sheri Colberg: Everyday Steps is a program co-developed by the Diabetes Hands Foundation and AstraZeneca specifically designed to help those living with type 2 diabetes develop and maintain a walking routine –one step at a time. One key component of the program is the Everyday Steps guide, which includes 12 tips that can help you start a walking routine and stick with it.
B.W.: How does this program benefit people living with type 2 diabetes?
S.C.: Often people living with type 2 diabetes can feel overwhelmed by starting a fitness routine. However, walking is a simple and great way to reach your health goals. It is also one of the easiest ways to start a fitness habit. You can walk whether you live in the city, suburbs or country, on the East or West Coast or in between. Your walk can be fast, slow, long or short. Benefits of walking regularly may include:
Reducing blood sugar and improving the body’s ability to use insulin
Lowering the risk of health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease or stroke.
Boosting good cholesterol levels and lowering bad cholesterol numbers.
Helping burn more calories.
Lowering stress levels.
Strengthening muscles and bones.
B.W.: Where could people find the walking guide from the program?
S.C.: To take a look at the walking guide, you can visit www.everydaystepsguide.com.
B.W.: What other fitness regimen advice do you have for people living with diabetes?
S.C.: We know it can be difficult to know how to start and stay motivated, so setting a goal for yourself and tracking your progress can really help. You can use a pedometer or a smartphone app to keep track your steps, time, distance, etc. in order to meet your walking goals. Also, a lot of people find it’s great to invite a friend to be your walking companion to keep it fun and keep you accountable. Another way to stay motivated is to make a playlist on your smartphone or MP3 player. Faster songs can help you walk faster, so change the tempo from time to time.
B.W.: Where could people find more information on AstraZeneca and the Diabetes Hands Foundation?
S.C.: The Diabetes Hands Foundation’s TuDiabetes is a great resource for learning more about type 2 diabetes: http://www.tudiabetes.org/, as is your healthcare provider. For more information on AstraZeneca, please visit www.astrazeneca-us.com.
B.W.: What future benefits do you have for this program for people with diabetes and other illnesses?
S.C.: While walking and physical activity are beneficial, talking to your doctor about your overall diabetes care is essential, including healthy eating, exercise and medication. Lastly, it’s important to let your doctor know that walking is part of your overall diabetes management plan.