Physical activity is particularly good for those living with
diabetes. That’s because physical activity helps burn
excess body fat, keeping weight down and improving
muscle strength. It also helps insulin work better to lower
blood glucose, and it can improve circulation and bone
density. Plus, physical activity gives you more energy and reduces stress.
A few small changes can make a big difference. Taking the stairs instead of the elevator, walking short distances instead of catching the bus and even doing extra gardening or housework can make a big improvement to your fitness level. Walking, swimming, playing golf, bowling, aqua aerobics, riding a bike — these are just some of the many ways to enjoy doing exercise.
For the best results, you should try to exercise for about 30 minutes 3 to 4 times a week. If you’re not used to exercise, begin slowly starting with 5 to 10 minutes, then increase the amount of time as your endurance builds.
If your blood glucose is less than 100 to 120, have a snack before you exercise. Also, carry glucose tablets or a carbohydrate snack with you when you exercise.
- See your doctor.
- Have a snack if you plan to exercise more than an hour after eating.
- Drink water before, during and after exercise to prevent dehydration.
- Choose an activity you enjoy, as you are more likely to stick to it.
- Stretch for five minutes before and after exercise.
- Wear suitable shoes and clothing.
- Wear an ID tag indicating you have diabetes to insure proper treatment in case of problems/injuries.
- Avoid lifting heavy weights as a precaution against sudden high blood pressure.
If you use insulin
- Exercise after eating, not before.
- Don’t exercise right before you go to sleep as it could cause hypoglycemia during the night.
- Check your blood glucose before, during, and after exercising.
- Don’t exercise when your blood glucose is over 240 or if you have ketones in your urine.