Diabetes & Exercise
Can Exercise Help My Diabetes?
help control your weight and lower your blood sugar
level. It also lowers your risk of heart disease, a
condition that is common in people who have
diabetes. Exercise can also help you feel better
about yourself and increase your overall health.
Kind of Exercise Should I Do?
Talk to your
doctor about what kind of exercise is right for you.
The type of exercise you can do will depend on
whether you have any other health problems. Most
doctors recommend aerobic exercise, which makes you
breathe more deeply and makes your heart work
harder. Examples of aerobic exercise include
walking, jogging, aerobic dance or bicycling. If you
have problems with the nerves in your feet or legs,
your doctor may want you to do a type of exercise
that won't put stress on your feet. These exercises
include swimming, bicycling, rowing or chair
what kind of exercise you do, you should warm up
before you start and cool down when you're done. To
warm up, spend 5 to 10 minutes doing a low-intensity
exercise such as walking. Then gently stretch for
another 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat these steps after
exercising to cool down.
start an exercise program, go slowly. Gradually
increase the intensity and length of your workout as
you get more fit. Talk to your doctor for specific
there Any Risks to Exercising for People With
Yes, but the
benefits far outweigh the risks. Exercise changes
the way your body reacts to insulin. Regular
exercise makes your body more sensitive to insulin,
and your blood sugar level may get too low (called
hypoglycemia) after exercising. You may need to
check your blood sugar level before and after
exercising. Your doctor can tell you what your blood
sugar level should be before and after exercise.
blood sugar level is too low or too high right
before you plan to exercise, it's better to wait
until the level improves. It is especially important
to watch your blood sugar level if you exercise in
really hot or cold conditions, because the
temperature changes how your body absorbs insulin.
Will I Know if My Blood Sugar is Too Low While I'm
usually occurs gradually, so you need to pay
attention to how you're feeling during exercise. You
may feel a change in your heartbeat, suddenly sweat
more, feel shaky or anxious, or feel hungry. When
you feel this way, you should stop exercising and
follow your doctor's advice about how to treat
hypoglycemia. Your doctor may suggest you keep candy
or juice on hand to treat hypoglycemia.
else Should I Do to Exercise Properly?
with diabetes have problems with the nerves in their
feet and legs, sometimes without even knowing it. So
it's important that you wear shoes that fit well and
have plenty of room when you exercise. Otherwise you
could develop blisters or other sores on your feet
that can lead to infection and other problems. You
should check your feet before and after you exercise
to make sure there are no blisters or other sores.
I Drink more Fluids During Exercise?
you're exercising, your body uses more fluid to keep
you cool. By the time you feel thirsty, you may
already be getting dehydrated. Dehydration (not
enough fluid in your body) can affect your blood
sugar level. Drink plenty of fluid before, during
and after exercise.
Exercise Checklist For People With Diabetes
Talk to your doctor about
the right exercise for you.
Check your blood sugar
level before and after exercising.
Check your feet for
blisters or sores before and after exercising.
Wear the proper shoes and
Drink plenty of fluid
before, during and after exercising.
Warm up before exercising
and cool down afterward.
Have a snack handy in
case your blood sugar level drops too low.