Exercising With Diabetes


Common stereotypes may lead some to believe that all people that suffer or are diagnosed with diabetes are overweight and have had no thoughts or care about their health and wellbeing. In reality, many diabetics are highly focused on exercising and their general wellbeing.

Diabetes is a condition wherein the body cannot produce enough or any insulin at all to convert sugar to glucose, which is then used as energy (the latter being essential for any physical activity). The question is then can diabetics exercise effectively? The answer is yes, just as any other person. Below is a list of hints and tips for diabetes sufferers on how to get the most out of an exercising session.

1. Protect Yourself From Hypo/Hyperglycemia

Hypoglycemia occurs when the blood sugar levels in the body drop to a dangerously low level. Hyperglycemia is the reverse, in which the blood sugar is at a dangerously high level. These usually occur when there is an imbalance in the medication taken compared to the intensity level of the activity involved. For example, using medication to lower blood sugar levels whereby the intensity of the physical activity requires more glucose energy in the body. To avoid the risk of either of these, ensure you take a blood glucose test before performing any exercise so as to understand what medication is necessary, and to what dose. Also ensure that you are not suffering from a virus or infection.

2. Have Your Snacks At Hand

When participating in physically demanding exercises such as weight lifting, it is important to ensure that you are topped up with the required amounts of energy. Ensure you have light carbohydrate snacks with you, especially if you feel that you are having an intense session. Always ensure you take a reading of your blood sugar levels before exercise, as it may not be necessary to take any snacks if your blood sugar level is higher than the safe level set by your doctor. It is best to take glucose drinks or tablets particularly if you’re starting to feel weak.

3. Is Your Footgear Correct?

The majority of exercises involve some kind of movement with the feet either standing, jogging or running, It is also known that those suffering from diabetes are the most susceptible to foot ulcers. For this reason, it is important to ensure that the correct footwear is being used. This is in order to prevent friction, pressure or poor fitting shoes. You can be in a better position to exercise by wearing well made footwear with enough space, inspecting your feet everyday in order to spot any sores quickly, and by wearing cotton comfortable socks.

4. Make It Regular

You can maintain a good blood glucose level by eating, exercising and using your medication regularly at the same time. By doing this, you can understand better your body’s limits and prevent the risk of sudden hypo/hyperglycemia. Keep hydrated regularly and stop whatever you are doing if you feel a sudden pain. Know your limits.

Every person is different, so it is important that if you suffer from diabetes, you check with your doctor what activities you can participate in. In fact your doctor is likely to encourage you to exercise and remain active in order to improve your overall health and wellbeing. Ensuring you use the correct medication and dosage amounts would also be beneficial, in keeping your blood sugar at an acceptable level during exercise. You can read up on more online regarding living with diabetes and the added benefits of keeping fit.

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