Exercise for diabetic patients

 

Physical activity is important part of your diabetes management plan. When you exercise, your muscles use sugar (glucose) for energy. Regular physical activity also improves your body’s response to insulin. These factors work together to lower your blood sugar level. Furthermore, regular exercise may prevent type 2 diabetes in high-risk individuals. People with diabetes should be advised to perform at least 150 min/week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (50–70% of maximum heart rate).

 

Important points to consider-

Talk to your doctor about an exercise plan. Ask your doctor about what type of exercise is appropriate for you. If you’ve been inactive for a long time, your doctor may want to check the condition of your heart and feet before advising you. He or she can recommend the right balance of various exercises.

Keep an exercise schedule. Talk to your doctor about the best time of day for you to exercise so that your workout routine is coordinated with your meal and medication schedules.

 

Safety first

  1. It is good to check your blood sugar level before, during and after exercise. It you do not have glucometer it is advised to do similar intensity exercise at same time and eat something before you exercise.
  2. Always look at your feet for sores or blisters before and after you exercise. Make sure that your shoes fit well and are comfortable. Wear soft, absorbent socks. If your feet are already compromised from poor circulation, choose an exercise that doesn’t put undue pressure on them, such as swimming, yoga.
  3. If you go outside for exercise, carry something to eat with you in case your blood sugar drops too low and have diabetes identification card with you.
  4. Drink plenty of water while exercising because dehydration can affect blood sugar levels.
  5. Consult your doctor about exercise, if you have any of these symptoms or conditions:
  • If your blood glucose level over 250 mg/dl
  • If you have any symptoms of cardiovascular problems
  • If you have any evidence of retinopathy, neuropathy or nephropathy
  • Any other on-going health problems that might limit your ability to exercise safely