Diabetes and exercise go hand in hand. Exercise is an important part of your diabetes management plan. It can help improve your blood sugar, increase your overall fitness, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol, and lower you risk of heart and blood vessel disease and stroke. Whether you already work out at a vigorous level or are just getting started, exercise is a must have in your diabetes self-management tool box.
Before getting started there are some important steps to take before beginning a new exercise regimen. First talk to your doctor about any risk factors you have that may limit certain types of exercise. Find out what types of exercise are appropriate for you. If you have been inactive for a long time, your doctor may want to check the condition of your heart before giving you recommendations. Most people benefit from a combination of aerobic exercise and muscle strengthening exercise.
Keep an exercise journal to determine the best time of day for you to exercise so that your exercise is coordinated with your meals and medications. Always test your blood sugar before, during and after your workout. Safety is your first priority. If your blood sugar is below 100 mg/dl, it may be too low to work out safely. Most people need to have a small to moderate size carbohydrate snack before exercise to keep them from experiencing hypoglycemia. This is a good topic for one to discuss with his or her diabetes educator.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that adults with diabetes get 30 minutes of moderate level intensity aerobic physical activity at least five days a week. If someone is wanting to lose weight, typically a person will need to exercise for sixty minutes five days a week.
Whether it is Spring, Summer or the cold of Winter make a plan to get more active and help keep your diabetes well controlled. For more information, IHCRC has a nationally accredited diabetes education program with educators whom are available to patients. Referrals to the program can be made through your primary care provider at the clinic.