Walk this May

Why exercise?

Physical inactivity is a public health crisis. It is linked to over 20 chronic conditions and diseases, and responsible for one in six deaths in the UK. Current guidance for adults aged 19-64 is to exercise for 150 minutes at moderate intensity per week. 27% of the adult population in Greater Manchester, more than 756,000 people do less than 30 minutes of exercise a week. That Counts! is a great resource to help explain what types of activities count towards your weekly 150 minutes. You can also find out what activities are happening in your local area. 

Brisk walking is classed as moderate intensity activity. Walking is a great, free exercise for the whole family and benefits of walking particularly in people with type 2 diabetes include:

  • Building stamina, burning excess calories and making your heart healthier.
  • Being active can increase the amount of glucose (sugar) used by your muscles and so may lower blood sugar levels.
  • Helping the body to use insulin more effectively.
  • Being easy on joints and suitable for all levels of aerobic fitness.
  • Helping reduce stress levels and symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Giving you energy and helping you sleep
  • Helping improve your HbA1c. 

If you control your diabetes with insulin, or medication that puts you at risk of hypos then there are a few important things to consider before exercising 

May is Living Streets National Walking Month and we are encouraging people to walk this May. Walking is a great way to get more active - especially if you're starting from scratch. You can take it easy to begin with and build up slowly as your fitness improves. Within Greater Manchester, a recent YouGov study found that 58% of people have done more walking since coronovirus lockdown was introduced.

Further information 

There are some great stories from people living with diabetes on how they manage staying active alongside their long term condition. 

Diabetes UK have some useful information on their website about diabetes and exercise. 

It is important to ensure before you undertake any new form of activity you speak to your GP.