How to Exercise with Diabetes

How a physically active lifestyle can help with diabetes

When you are a diabetic and you don’t take care of yourself,you can expose yourself to a host of negative long-term health problems. However, if you’re living with diabetes, there are a few things you can do to battle this.

By taking prescribed medications and eating a healthy diet, you can go a long way toward controlling your blood sugar highs and lows. But there is much more you can do if you want maximum control over your diabetes. A good place to start is to consult a personal trainer to get you started with some basic exercises.

Diabetes is no excuse to stay away from the gym. In fact diabetes is a excellent reason to seek regular physical activity. Exercising with diabetes, however, does present unique challenges. Here’s what you should know.

Why Exercise with diabetes 

This is the good news for diabetics: physical activity helps lower your blood glucose levels and improves the way your body uses insulin. It also lowers blood pressure, bad cholesterol, and your risk of heart disease, stroke, and nerve damage. Exercise helps you lose weight; gives you more energy; keeps your bones, joints, and heart strong; and reduces your stress level. in other words: It is awesome !

Perhaps you’re a borderline type 2 diabetic. S This is my advice, start exercising! Studies have shown that losing five to seven percent of your body weight 5 to 8 kilo’s if you weigh around 100 Kg) may delay the onset of the disease or prevent it altogether. Yes, exercise is the body’s own medication.

So what Exercises you do when you have diabetes ?

Are you unsure what type of exercise safe for a diabetic?  Not to worry, Unless you have complications from diabetes (eye problems, kidney disease, heart disease, or foot problems) or high ketone levels in your blood or urine, exercise is safe. I am not suggesting you start cross fitting yourself into a fit just yet. Start off with 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (brisk walking, hiking, swimming, bicycling, or dancing) each week. Strength exercises have shown to be very beneficial. (hand weights, weight machines, elastic bands). try training with your personal trainer two to three times each week.

How should you Exercise

Diabetics must take certain precautions when it comes to exercise. Before beginning a new exercise program it is a good idea to talk with your doctor. That allows you to get the education you need on how and when to exercise and whether you’ll need to adjust your medications before exercising.

If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood glucose levels are high and your insulin levels are too low, your body will produce chemicals call ketones. A high level of ketones in your blood or urine will make you sick. Exercising with high levels of ketones can make your blood glucose level even higher. Therefore, avoid high intensity exercise if your ketone level is high.

On the other hand, if you have type 2 diabetes with a high blood glucose level and no ketones in your blood or urine, light to moderate intensity exercise may actually work to lower your glucose levels.

Are there any risks ?

It is important to learn how your body reacts during exercise. Low blood glucose levels can be a concern. If you take insulin or medications that cause low levels, it’s important to track your blood glucose levels before, during, and after exercise. These records will show you how your body reacts to physical activity so you’ll be able to prevent dangerous blood glucose fluctuations.

If low glucose levels are a risk for you, wear your medical ID bracelet and keep glucose tablets or fruit juice handy for a quick sip. Jelly beans are great for a quick sugar hit to.  Also remember that low glucose levels can hang around or show up hours after you’re done working out.

Need some guidelines to follow when it comes to exercise and blood sugar levels? No worries, here we go

Lower than 100 mg/dL: Too low to exercise. Eat a high-carb snack (fruit or crackers) before working out or after working out if levels are low following exercise.

100–250 mg/dL: A safe range prior to exercise.

250+ mg/dL: Take precautions. Take a urine sample and test for ketones. Don’t exercise until your ketone level is normal.

300+ mg/dL: Dangerous to exercise. Wait until your glucose level drops before working out.

That’s it for now, remember small steps can lead to big changes. The trainers of MarionPT are here to help.

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