Talk to your doctor about how and when to
exercise. You may need to have a medical exam and tests (such as a treadmill
test) before you begin. Also, some types of exercise can be harmful if
you have complications from diabetes. Your doctor can tell you whether you need
to avoid certain kinds of exercise.
Choose a type of exercise that
you like and that fits easily into your daily schedule. If you choose something
you like, you will be more willing to continue the program. Try to include exercises that will work your heart and lungs and give you healthy muscles.
exercise at about the same time and for the same length of time each day to
help keep your blood sugar levels in the same range. If you want to increase
your exercise, increase the intensity or the duration in small amounts.
someone with you when you exercise, if possible. You may need help if your
blood sugar level drops below a target range. And having a buddy can motivate you to keep going.
Starting a program
Start slowly so that you don't
overdo it. Build up your exercise program bit by bit, and aim for at least 2½
hours a week of
moderate activity. Or try to do
vigorous activity for at least 1¼ hours a
week.1 It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes
or more throughout your day and week.
If you take insulin or other medicine for diabetes:
Exercise changes the amount of glucose in your body. During vigorous exercise, the liver releases more stored glucose into the bloodstream. This raises blood sugar. When blood sugar is too high, it can lead to diabetic ketoacidosis. This can happen when you are very dehydrated. If you have Type 1 diabetes, make sure that your blood sugar is not too high before you begin to exercise:
If your blood sugar is high (for example, over 300 mg/dL) and you have ketones, do not exercise.
your blood sugar is high (for example, over 300 mg/dL) and you do not have ketones,
exercise with caution.
when your blood sugar is too low (less than 70 mg/dL).
If your blood sugar is less than 100 mg/dL
before you start exercising, eat a carbohydrate snack. This applies only to people who take insulin or medicine that lowers blood sugar. If your diabetes is controlled by diet and/or medicine that does not lower your blood sugar, you will not need to take a snack before exercising.
Have some type of quick-sugar food
with you when you exercise. You may have symptoms of low blood sugar while
you exercise or up to 24 hours after you stop.
your doctor if you have been gradually increasing your exercise and have felt
the symptoms of low blood sugar more than 2 or 3 times in one week. Your dose
of medicine or insulin may need to be changed.