The goal is to safely engage in moderate exercise, all or most days of the week. Keeping a regular routine makes it easier to manage blood sugar levels as well as any diabetes medications or insulin you may be taking. This will help to avoid the chance of experiencing hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) or hyperglycemia (high blood sugar). Try not to skip workouts or exercise at an increased intensity for long durations. Any changes in your exercise schedule or intensity should be discussed with your doctor just in case your medications or insulin need to be adjusted. Don't skip meals, either, as this also affects blood sugar levels.
It's tempting to ask what type of exercise is "best", but it's different for everyone. In general, the best exercise is one that you can do for a reasonable amount of time and one that you'll stick with. If, for example, you really hate running, then it's not the best exercise for you because it's likely that you'll give up. Pick activities that you enjoy (or at least can tolerate well) and can stick with over the long-term.
Diabetics should consult with their doctors prior to beginning an exercise routine. Because diabetes can lead to additional health complications, it's important to talk to your doctor first since some types of exercises may not be appropriate for everyone.
Strength (weights or exercise bands) and flexibility training (stretching) should be incorporated into your exercise routine as well.
Some diabetics have foot problems. If you are one of them, try to avoid exercises that put a lot of strain on your feet. Instead, choose an exercise like swimming or biking. Regardless of what form of exercise you pick, make sure you're wearing properly-fitting shoes. Check for blisters or sores after you exercise and if need be, replace your shoes. Wounds heal more slowly in diabetics so it's important to practice good foot care.
Finally, make sure you check your
blood sugar levels
before and after exercise. Know the signs of hypoglycemia
so that you can recognize them if they begin to occur while you're working out. Have a snack on hand just in case.
There are many components to a treatment for diabetes, and exercise is an
integral part of that. Regular exercise has numerous health benefits in addition
to simply controlling blood glucose levels.
There are many components to a treatment for diabetes, and exercise is an integral part of that. Regular exercise has numerous health benefits in addition to simply controlling blood glucose levels.