Diabetes Exercise: Don't! ...Without Following These 5 Rules
Almost every person with diabetes should exercise, but there are some serious risks to avoid. Of all the treatments prescribed by doctors for their diabetic patients, one of the very best treatments is exercise. Some people even claim exercise is a “cure” for type 2 diabetes. I won’t go that far, but it is difficult to downplay the terrific improvement and maintenance exercise can play in diabetes management and control.
Increased muscle mass and strength lowers insulin resistance in Type 2 diabetics. It helps raise “good” cholesterol (HDL) and lower the “bad” (LDL). It is in fact the very best way to increase HDL cholesterol. Exercise will also burn calories and help control weight. Not to mention the added benefit of looking better and feeling better.
Before beginning any exercise regimen it is very important to reviews your case with your doctor. Depending on your age and condition, your medical history and so on, there may be several precautions and possible restrictions that your doctor might place on you regarding exercise. It is highly unlikely, however, that you doctor will restrict you from any exercise whatever.
Once you have established an exerecise regimen, be it walking, swimming, weightlifting, tennis, etc. and have cleared it with your doctor, here are 5 further rules that can help you gain the most benefit from exercise and reduce most of the risks.
- Rule # 1
Test your blood sugar before and after exercise. If your reading is less than 100 mg/dl (5.5 mmol/l) before exercising you should eat a snack with about 15 grams of carbohydrate. Re-test after twenty minutes. Don’t exercise until your blood sugar is over 100 mg/dl.
- Rule # 2
To be fair, this is more like an extension of rule number 1. But it is significant enough that it gets its own number. Rule number two is: Exercise two hours after you eat.
There are several reasons for this. One, you will probably be at your carbohydrate peak for energy. Two, if you inject insulin, it will be several hours since your last injection. You won’t be as liable to have a hypoglycemic episode while exercising. Three, it will be glucose-testing time anyway, and you should know what your glucose level is before you begin exercising.
- Rule # 3
Remember to stretch and warm-up for 10 minutes before and cool down for 10 minutes after exercise, in order to avoid aches, pains and cramps, as well as heart problems or strokes. Failure to do this, especially the cool-down phase, increases the risk of a heart attack. Ten minutes of actively cooling down by walking or other slow and easy activity enables your heart to gradually reduce blood flow to your muscles.
- Rule # 4
Carry a quick glucose-raising snack with you. This could be some glucose tablets, a couple rolls of Smarties® (an easy to chew glucose-based candy) or even a small piece of fruit or raisins.
- Rule # 5
Take advantage of modern technology. Carry a cell phone with you in case you need to call for help for any reason. And, especially if you inject insulin, always wear a diabetic I.D. bracelet or necklace.
Check with your doctor and follow these rules and you will reap many healthy benefits and improve your diabetes.
Source by Jaye Marno