There is nearly no health problem that can’t be somehow alleviated or reduced by proper exercises program. But for some diseases such as type 2 diabetes; exercising can truly make a huge positive difference in the life, health and wellbeing of a diabetic person.
Exercising has been shown to aid diabetics in weight reduction, blood sugar management –in addition to other benefits- which as a sum reduce diabetes complications and related morbidities. Here we’ll list some of the most crucial tips you or your diabetic friend or relative would need to exercise safely.
1- Talk to your doctor about your plan
By the time you finish reading this article, you would formulate an idea on how your workout schedule would look like, so write it down and take it with you to your next doctor appointment, discuss your plan with him, regarding the activities, intensity, timing, duration, medications and any other concern you might have, after that you can use workout plan builder to organize and track your plan.
2- Monitor your blood sugar constantly
That should take place before, during and after workout, to know how your body responds to exercise. Scientific data suggest that for diabetics; it is safe to exercise if blood sugar level is between 100-250 mg/dl.
3- Do cardio training
Generally, unless suffering from certain disease complications; diabetics can undergo physical activities that healthy people can do, only try to start slowly and gradually. For type 1 diabetes aim for 20-30 minutes /session and for type 2, aim for 30-60 minutes/session, moderate to vigorous intensity (within 55-85% of your maximum heart rate). (Don’t forget to consult your doctor on timing or training)
4- Do strength training
Strength training is good for diabetics since it enhances fat burning and cell’s response to insulin. Recommendations for diabetics are low-moderates intensity level, 12-20 repetitions per set, two to three times a week.
5- Drink enough water
Water is crucial to prevent dehydration, drink it before, during and after exercise.
6- Wear good shoes and socks
Chose shoes that provide you enough cushion and good ventilation; and socks the take the sweat away from your feet, this is very important to prevent blisters, redness and irritation in your feet (to avoid diabetic foot).
7- Wear diabetic identification card
You better have any sort of identification that you have diabetes, and what type of it; to make sure you get the right medical care, in case of an emergency.
8- Make your life more active
Aside from exercising, be creative in making you daily life more active and energetic, this would help you lose weight and give you good feeling of strength and independency.
9- Avoid exercising when…
- Feeling dizzy, shaky, confused
- In weather extremes (due to failure in sweating mechanism)
- Your blood sugar is below 100 or higher than 300 mg/dl
- You haven’t eaten for a while, or any other situation you physician warned you to exercise in
- Directly after insulin injection (when insulin action is in its peak) to avoid exercise induced hypoglycemia
- Don’t exercise without warming up for 5 minutes and cooling down afterwards for 5 too
- Avoid weight bearing, high impact exercises
Need consultation or have a question on how to exercise to manage you diabetes! Put your question on Fitnessyard’s forum.
F. Hatfield. Fitness: The Complete Guide. Edition 8.6.6