BELGRADE is one of 40 cities that was given the opportunity to express itself in the activities changing diabetes. It is a global project to combat URBAN DIABETES, sponsored by the Danish pharmaceutical company Novo Nordisk, the world’s largest company producing medications for diabetes.
Why – “Open the Blue Circle”?
In 2006, the United Nations marked the blue circle as a symbol of diabetes. Blue is the color of the UN, and the circle represents the vicious circle of diabetes. “Open the Blue Circle” is a free mobile application designed to help people living in cities to get out of the vicious circle, by creating activities. Belgrade’s activity is WALKING along healthy routes with professionals, coaches or healthcare workers.
The number of participants in the walks is limited due to the epidemiological situation, and these walks are announced through the application. Once a month, glycemia will be measured before a walk. The application allows everyone to create their own walks, with steps measuring. Each step counts as a donation for repairing the existing and creating new pedestrian paths in Belgrade.
Activities of the project “Open the Blue Circle” are supported by the City of Belgrade, the Embassy of Denmark in Belgrade, the Faculty of Medicine in Belgrade, the Diabetes Association of Serbia, the Association for T1 Diabetes “Blue Circle” and Novo Nordisk – branch in Belgrade. Recently, the Association for T2 Diabetes “Circle of Two in Serbia” and the Belgrade Racing Club have joined. A new activity with walks is being introduced – a Nordic walking school.
“Open the Blue Circle” app provides useful information about diabetes and active Diabetes Counseling.
Physical activity is a medication with good metabolic, mental and social effects. It is a medication for the suppression of obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure and cardiovascular diseases. Physical activity helps muscles use sugar and make diabetes medications work better. Even a small physical activity, which burns 400 kcal per week, improves the effect of insulin.
Movement improves mood and sleep. People who have regular physical activity have more strength and do not fall into bed tired, after the least work.
People believe that running is the most useful activity in preventing cardiovascular diseases. However, an energetic walk is just as useful, but it lasts longer. It engages the same muscles. When a person crosses 7 km on a brisk walk, it is the same as if he/she ran 5 km. Simply, a brisk walk takes an hour and 15 minutes, and a run 40 minutes.
When walks are led by professionals, it is especially beneficial. They can recognize when someone is not well, which gives security. They also give advice on when to eat, how to adjust medications and how much fluid to intake. People don’t know how to walk without overdoing it. It is very important for them to know how to hold their body, how to breathe, how fast their heart may beat.
Walking is an aerobic physical activity. It burns calories, reduces weight, improves circulation and strengthens the heart. If a person has pain in the legs, he/she can go swimming or cycling.
In addition to aerobic physical activity, there are resistance and stretching exercises. Resistance exercises also burn calories. They improve muscle mass, bones density and reduce insulin resistance. Stretching exercises improve joint mobility.
Physical activity must be a life routine. The more a person walks, the better he/she feels and walking becomes a vital need, like breathing.