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Benefits of Exercise: Helps with diabetes management

March 11, 2022

Do you have diabetes, or are you at risk of diabetes? This week Activ8 would like to share with you the important role and tips of exercise in keeping you healthy.

What are the benefits of exercise for a person with diabetes? 

  • Insulin (the hormone that allows cells in your body to use blood sugar for energy), works better, which will improve your diabetes management
  • Maintain a healthy weight 
  • Lower your blood pressure
  • Reduce your risk of heart disease
  • Reduce stress.

What kind of exercise is recommended for a diabetic person? 

Some professionals recommended at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity 5 days a week can help the insulin work better in the body. 

As always we recommended before starting any regular exercise program see your doctor for a full examination.

Initially take it slow – you don’t want to start too hard, if you are not used to the exercise you will be sore the next day and this will not make exercising a fun experience! Over time, you can slowly increase the intensity of the exercise.

Increasing your general physical activity is also helpful, just like taking the stairs instead of the lift, getting up to change the TV station instead of using the remote control, housework, and gardening. Avoid watching too much TV or sitting at the computer for a long time.

Exercise tips

  • If you are a diabetic, one thing you should not forget is taking care of your feet. Ulcers or other injuries on the feet are a danger for people with diabetes. It is important to avoid foot damage, especially for middle-aged and elderly people. Make sure that you wear comfortable and well-fitting shoes.
  • Drink extra fluid before, during (only if prolonged exercise), and after exercise to avoid dehydration. The fluid may be water or a sweetened drink if extra carbohydrate is required. 250 ml every 15 minutes or one liter of fluid per hour is recommended.
  • Take extra carbohydrates before and during exercise to prevent hypoglycemia. Extra carbohydrate is often needed after exercise. Discuss adjusting carbohydrate intake with your doctor or dietitian.
  • Monitor your blood glucose levels before, if possible during (at least initially), and after exercise to assess your requirements for extra food.
  • It may be necessary to reduce your insulin dose before exercise. Insulin adjustment varies with each individual. Discuss appropriate adjustments to suit your exercise schedule with your doctor.

People with diabetes are generally discouraged from the strenuous physical activity if they feel unwell or have ketones present in their blood or urine. But keep working hard and have fun. And in due time exercise and controlling your diabetes will be a way of life.

We would like to hear from you about how your fitness routine can help you to manage diabetes. What are your tips to care of yourself during your exercise? 

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