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What are some tips for exercising with diabetes?

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Here are some tips designed to get diabetics moving safely:

  • Get your doctor’s OK before starting an exercise program. Make sure your doctor reviews your diabetes drugs first.
  • Carry at least 15 grams of a fast-acting carbohydrate in case you get low blood sugar. It might be a half-cup of fruit juice or glucose tablets or gels that equal 15 grams.
  • Wear well-fitting shoes that are for the activity you’re doing, and choose athletic polyester socks. They dry quicker and cause less friction than all-cotton socks.
  • Inspect your feet before and after exercise. Check for blisters or sores.
  • Drink plenty of fluid before, during, and after exercise.
  • Wear a medical ID bracelet or carry a medical ID in your pocket.
  • Check your blood sugar level before and after exercise to make sure it’s in your target range. Your doctor can tell you what it should be before you start exercising. This is very important if you take insulin. After an intense workout or exercising for a long time, you may want to eat something with at least 15 grams of carbohydrates within 2 hours. This will help you avoid low blood sugar.
  • If you become shaky, anxious, or more sweaty than usual, or feel a change in your heartbeat, stop exercising right away and check your blood sugar. If it is low, follow your doctor’s advice about how to treat it.
  • Always warm up for 5 to 10 minutes at the start of your workout. For instance, walk or bike slowly. Do 5 to 10 minutes of cool-down and gentle stretching at the end.

SOURCES:

Familydoctor.org: “Diabetes and Exercise.”

Medicinenet.com: “Diabetes & Fitness: Get Moving! -- with Richard Weil, MEd, CDE.”

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC): “What I need to know about Physical Activity and Diabetes.” 

Ann Levine, diabetes clinical nurse specialist, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y.

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on February 15, 2017

SOURCES:

Familydoctor.org: “Diabetes and Exercise.”

Medicinenet.com: “Diabetes & Fitness: Get Moving! -- with Richard Weil, MEd, CDE.”

National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC): “What I need to know about Physical Activity and Diabetes.” 

Ann Levine, diabetes clinical nurse specialist, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, N.Y.

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger on February 15, 2017

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