Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Diabetes Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Diabetic Neuropathy: Exercising Safely - Topic Overview

Regular exercise may help control your diabetes, which can reduce your risk of severe diabetic neuropathy. Depending on what areas of your body have been affected by nerve damage, though, you may need to modify some aspects of your exercise program so that other problems don't develop.

Before beginning an exercise program, ask your doctor to do a thorough exam of your legs and feet for signs of peripheral neuropathy. And make sure you have properly fitted shoes to protect your feet from injury.

Recommended Related to Diabetes

Great Outdoor Workouts for People With Diabetes

When you get moving, your body is better able to use insulin. This fall, get outside with a fun, flexible workout such as walking, swimming, or biking. Jacqueline Shahar, MEd, RCEP, CDE, an exercise physiologist at Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston, suggests you talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. And always check your blood sugar before and after exercise. You may need to adjust your insulin or oral meds. Walking. It's easy, you can do it almost anywhere, and it's a snap...

Read the Great Outdoor Workouts for People With Diabetes article > >

Exercising safely with foot problems

If you have nerve damage in your feet, you need to avoid repetitive, weight-bearing exercises, such as jogging, prolonged walking, and step aerobics. Repetitive stress on feet affected by neuropathy can lead to ulcers, fractures, and joint deformities. Stick to exercises that do not put stress on your feet, such as:

  • Swimming.
  • Bicycling.
  • Rowing.
  • Seated exercises.
  • Arm and upper-body exercises.
  • Other non-weight-bearing exercises.

Avoiding heart and blood pressure problems

Autonomic neuropathy affecting the heart and blood vessels may limit-but not eliminate-your capacity for exercise. It increases your risk of having a heart attack (often a silent heart attack) during strenuous exercise and may cause sudden shifts in your blood pressure during or after exercise. Make sure you talk to your doctor before you start an exercise program. He or she can help you plan a gentle program that will improve your health without pushing you beyond your body's limits.

Maintaining safe body temperature during exercise

Autonomic neuropathy may reduce the body's ability to regulate its own temperature (thermoregulation). Abnormally profuse or abnormally reduced sweating are the usual signs of this problem. People with this type of neuropathy should not exercise in very hot or very cold environments because their bodies cannot safely adapt to these temperatures. Use silica gel or air midsoles and wear polyester or polyester/cotton blend socks to keep your feet dry during exercise. It is also important to drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise. The body is better able to control its temperature when it is well hydrated.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 04, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
1
Next Article:

Diabetic Neuropathy: Exercising Safely Topics

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
kenneth fujioka, md
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Article
 
Middle aged person
Tool
jennie brand miller
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
feet
Slideshow