Step 2: Set a Schedule
The best time to exercise may be after a meal. Ask your doctor what time of day is best for you. Take the dog for a walk after breakfast and dinner. Or schedule a yoga class or a round of tennis after lunch.
To stay motivated, ask a friend or family member to come along, or join a class. You won't skip an outing when other people are counting on you! Company can make it more fun, too.
Step 3: Get Ready
- Wear well-fitting, comfortable shoes and cotton socks that don't rub. The right footwear can prevent blisters that could become serious infections for some people with diabetes.
- Check your blood sugar before a brisk walk or workout. If it's below 100, check with your doctor to see if you need to eat a snack first.
- Carry a snack or glucose tablets in case your blood sugar gets low.
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
- Always wear your diabetes ID necklace or bracelet while you’re exercising.
Step 4: Go!
Start exercising a few days a week and slowly build up from there. Try a 10-minute walk three days a week. On two other days, stretch for 5 minutes. Gradually add 5 or 10 more minutes of exercise each day. For most people, a healthy goal is 30 minutes of moderate exercise such as walking most days of the week.
Each time you exercise, write down how long you worked out and your blood sugar levels before and after. Over time, you'll see how exercise improves your blood sugar.
Take it slowly at first and listen to your body. As you get used to exercise, you can start to make your workout more challenging. Add more time to your activity or increase your pace a little. You might be surprised at what you can do -- and how much you enjoy it.