If you have diabetes, it is important that you understand how your daily choices impact your health. While some diabetics fear exercise, the fact is, regular exercise can do wonders for your body, including helping to regulate your blood glucose levels. However, you will have some additional concerns when deciding on your fitness routine when compared to those of your non-diabetic counterparts.
When you exercise, your insulin sensitivity rises. This permits your cells to more easily access available insulin. Additionally, muscle contractions encourage the cellular use of glucose, no matter how much or little insulin is available. In the long run, your A1C results should improve.
Many activities influence how your body will respond to exercise. You need to check your glucose levels frequently, recording the numbers each time. In the same log, write down the duration and intensity of any exercise sessions. The effects of your workout may show in your blood glucose levels for the 24 hours following. The diary will assist you in noting patterns over several days, weeks and months as you tailor your routine.
Make an appointment with your primary care physician to discuss your exercise plans. This is of particular importance if you have been leading a sedentary lifestyle. Your doctor will likely perform a routine physical exam and bloodwork analysis before making specific recommendations unless you have recently undergone a check-up.
Although type 1 diabetics are at the highest risk for hypoglycemia, all diabetics should carry an emergency supply bag with the appropriate treatments. Test your glucose levels before, during and after your activity. If you begin to feel "off" in any way, stop and check your sugar before continuing. Your workout partner should be aware of your condition and how to respond should you pass out or have a seizure related to hypoglycemia.
Regular exercise will help your body to use insulin properly and burn excess fat. Your muscles, bones and heart will become stronger as your stress levels decline. Your respiratory and circulatory systems will benefit dramatically, and your cholesterol levels should improve too. Additionally, you will experience greater energy and notice an improvement in your overall mood. With all of these things going for it, exercise is a great choice to add to your regular routine!
If you have not been active in a long time, begin slowly, perhaps with several five- to ten-minute walks each day. However, you should do as much as your doctor has said is safe in your current state of health. Figure out some forms of exercise that you have an interest in doing, and then decide when and how to arrange some into your schedule.
Some activities may only have seasonal availability, meaning you will need to rotate them in and out of your exercise roster accordingly. Swimming is a good example unless you have access to an indoor pool. It is vital that you enjoy your exercise choices or you will lose the drive to continue.
In the beginning, focus on performing several small workouts throughout the day instead of one large, strenuous training session. You might stretch and rebound for a few minutes after awakening, take a brisk walk on your work breaks and dance while cleaning your house in the evening.
No matter what type of exercise you choose, it is vital that you have the proper footwear. Inspect your feet before and after your workout and always wear clean socks. Switch between two pairs of shoes so they can dry thoroughly between wearings.
If you keep these tips in mind, you can improve your health and combat the negative effects of your diabetes with regular fitness routines. Doing so will make you feel better about yourself and increase your physical abilities. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from this lifestyle alteration.
About the Author
Louis Venter is the creator of diabetescoop.com , a website devoted to providing support and on-topic, frequently updated information for diabetics and those in their support network.
I make money on some products and services that I talk about on this website through affiliate relationships with the merchants in question. I get a small commission on sales of those products. That in no way affects my opinion of those products and services.