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Run, jog, walk

Running, jogging or walking is good for the mind, body and soul. It can be a great place to start when you’re trying to get in shape. Find out how and where you can do it for free.

2018 review of 11 studies found an association between increased physical activity levels and improved insulin sensitivity. Running, jogging or walking also uses some of the glucose in the blood, bringing blood glucose levels further into a normal range.

Exercising soon after eating has positive effects on blood sugar 

Having a jog or walk after a meal can help. Research also shows that it’s a good idea to start exercising about 30 minutes after a meal for people with type 2 diabetes.

Running or walking soon after any meal may mean your blood sugar doesn’t rise so much during the hour or two after the meal. So moving more after eating could be an easy goal to work on this week. Use our free walking/jogging log to track your steps, or download a free app.

What meal and day could you try this out on?

Running is also great for weight loss, improving heart and lung function, strengthening bones, and lifting your mood –  giving you a sense of wellbeing.

Join a free park running scheme

Parkrun is a worldwide park run that takes place every weekend at parks across the UK. According to the “Guardian”, close to 250,000 people are doing it across 20 countries including Russia, Malaysia and Swaziland.

It’s free and, best of all, you can go at your own speed, as people of all ages, shapes and sizes are doing it. A park run is a safe environment for beginners or those who are not as fit as they used to be.

Parkrun for people with diabetes

Parkrun UK has an official Facebook group for park runners living with diabetes, to share advice, tips, opinions and stories on all things running, jogging and walking.

Go to the Facebook page and take the first step towards burning off some unwanted sugars. You need to request to join the group. See how others are using Parkrun to improve their health on the Parkrun blog.

Free NHS running app: “Couch to 5K”

The NHS’s “Couch to 5K (C25K)” is a free running plan that’s great for beginners. It can help you gradually work towards running 5K in just 9 weeks, which may explain why it’s such a big success.

C25K involves three runs a week, with a day of rest between each and a different plan for each of the 9 weeks. Week 1 involves running for just a minute at a time, so it feels like you can do it right from the start.

If you work your way through “Couch to 5k”, try “5K+”, a running podcasts series with music to match each run.

Research shows listening to music while exercising can also reduce your feeling of effort and tiredness by up to 12 per cent.

What songs would you listen to on your next jog?

Before you start, get some great tips on running from the NHS guide on exercising. Or read up on our staying safe when exercising guide.