Stretching to Improve Blood Flow
Stretching can help people with diabetes reduce the severity of many diabetes complications by simply helping to stimulate blood flow to certain areas of their body and decreasing the overall level of stress in the body. The American Diabetes Association recommends that Diabetics stretch for at last 5 to 10 minutes each day – preferably before and after strength training or aerobic activities. Stretching will help to stimulate your muscles and organs to get them ready for your workout.
Stretching also has a positive effect on the body in the following ways:
Blood flow naturally increases in muscles that are stretched and elongated. The rush of blood into stretched muscles helps to warm the muscles and prepare them for activity. As the muscles receive the blood, overall blood circulation throughout the body improves, which means that muscles and organs receive oxygen, vitamins, minerals and other essential components that are carried in blood.
Many Diabetics find that stretching provides the perfect low-impact, high-results exercise. If you are considering adding stretching to your daily workout, consider enrolling in a Yoga or Pilates class. Yoga and Pilates are methods of stretching and building muscle that center on combining breathing techniques with traditional stretching and strength training methods in order to take on a holistic approach to your physical and mental health. Tai Chi is another option to consider. It is an old Chinese martial art that is very low impact, emphasizing slow, thoughtful movement of all the limbs and muscles in your body. Sometimes on television you see groups of Chinese citizens do this in central, public places in China. Research this further, it is a very easy paced way to do natural movement and help all parts of your body.
Keep in mind that if you are beginning a new exercise routine, it is always a wise idea to consult with your doctor first, especially if you are overweight, hypoglycemic or have injuries. Your doctor may recommend specific exercises that will be good for your body as well.
Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention
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