Living with diabetes can be tough, but exercise can make a world of difference.
Regular physical activity can help manage blood sugar levels, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce the risk of other chronic diseases.
However, it is important to approach exercise with caution when you have diabetes, as it can also lead to low blood sugar levels and other complications.
We will share nine exercise tips for people living with diabetes, to help you stay safe and achieve your fitness goals.
1)) Consult Your Doctor First
Before starting any new exercise routine, it is essential to consult your healthcare provider.
They can help you establish a safe and effective plan based on your medical history, medications, and blood sugar levels.
They can also advise you on what to do if your blood sugar levels become too high or too low during exercise.
2)) Choose The Right Type Of Exercise
Not all exercises are created equal when it comes to diabetes management.
The best ones for people with diabetes are aerobic exercises such as walking, swimming, cycling, and dancing.
These exercises can help improve insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular health, and overall fitness levels.
3)) Find Your Ideal Exercise Intensity
High-intensity exercises can increase the risk of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels).
On the other hand, low-intensity exercises may not be as effective in controlling blood sugar levels.
The ideal exercise intensity for people with diabetes is usually moderate (50-70% of maximum heart rate).
4)) Stay Hydrated
Dehydration can cause blood sugar levels to rise, so it is essential to stay well-hydrated during exercise.
Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise to avoid dehydration.
5)) Monitor Your Blood Sugar Levels
Regular blood sugar monitoring is important when you have diabetes, especially during and after exercise.
Check your levels before and after exercise to see how your body responds to different types and intensities of exercise.
This will help you adjust your routine as needed to avoid high or low blood sugar levels.
6)) Fuel Your Body Before Exercise
Eating a healthy meal or snack before exercise can help provide your body with the fuel it needs to exercise safely and effectively.
Choose foods that are high in complex carbohydrates and low in fat and sugar, such as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
7)) Carry A Source Of Quick Carbs
Hypoglycemia can occur during or after exercise, especially if you take insulin or certain diabetes medications.
Carrying a source of quick carbs such as fruit juice, glucose tablets, or hard candy can help quickly raise your blood sugar levels if needed.
8)) Wear Comfortable Footwear
People with diabetes are at increased risk of foot injuries due to reduced circulation and nerve damage.
Wearing comfortable and well-fitting footwear can help prevent foot injuries and sores.
Avoid exercising barefoot or in shoes that are too tight or too loose.
9)) Cool Down
After exercise, it is essential to allow your body time to cool down slowly.
Sudden stops can cause blood sugar levels to drop rapidly, leading to hypoglycemia.
Gradually taper off your exercise intensity and engage in gentle stretching to help your body cool down safely.
Exercise is a valuable tool for diabetes management, but it is important to approach it with caution and follow the tips above to stay safe and achieve your fitness goals.
Remember to consult your doctor before starting any new exercise routine, choose the right type and intensity of exercise, stay hydrated, monitor your blood sugar levels, fuel your body appropriately, carry a source of quick carbs, wear comfortable footwear, and cool down after exercise.
With the right approach, exercise can be an enjoyable and effective way to improve your health and well-being when you have diabetes.