Most people find physical activity improves their feelings of wellness and vitality. It also helps in managing stress.
Physical activity makes your body’s cells more sensitive to the action of insulin.
Your body remains more sensitive to insulin for up to 24 hours after physical activity. You may need to reduce your post physical activity insulin and / or eat more carbohydrates following physical activity.
The key to managing physical activity safely with diabetes, is to monitor your blood glucose frequently and use this information to adjust your food and physical activity accordingly.
Avoid injecting pre-physical activity insulin into any area of working muscle (it may get absorbed much more quickly than usual if you do).
There are risks to physical activity. You should have a thorough medical check and consult with your diabetes specialist team before starting a physical activity routine.
Keeping up a physical activity schedule if you have diabetes is a challenge for your diabetes management skills.
How can physical activity help me take care of my diabetes?
Physical activity and keeping a healthy weight can help you take care of your diabetes and prevent diabetes problems. Physical activity helps your blood glucose,also called blood sugar, stay in your target range.
Physical activity also helps the hormone insulin absorb glucose into all your body’s cells, including your muscles, for energy. Muscles use glucose better than fat does. Building and using muscle through physical activity can help prevent high blood glucose. If your body doesn’t make enough insulin, or if the insulin doesn’t work the way it should, the body’s cells don’t use glucose. Your blood glucose levels then get too high, causing diabetes.
Starting a physical activity program can help you lose weight or keep a healthy weight and keep your blood glucose levels on target. Even without reaching a healthy weight, just a 10 or 15 pound weight loss makes a difference in reducing the risk of diabetes problems.
What should I do before I start a physical activity program?
Before you start a physical activity program, you should
talk with your health care team
find an exercise buddy
decide how you’ll track your physical activity
decide how you’ll reward yourself
Talk with your health care team.
Your health care team may include a doctor, nurse, dietitian, diabetes educator, and others. Always talk with your health care team before you start a new physical activity program. Your health care team will tell you a target range for your blood glucose levels.
People with diabetes who take insulin or certain diabetes medicines are more likely to have low blood glucose, also called hypoglycaemia. If your blood glucose levels drop too low, you could pass out, have a seizure, or go into a coma. Physical activity can make hypoglycemia more likely or worse in people who take insulin or certain diabetes medicines, so planning ahead is key. It’s important to stay active. Ask your health care team how to stay active safely.
Physical activity works together with healthy eating and diabetes medicines to prevent diabetes problems. Studies show that people with type 2 diabetes who lose weight with physical activity and make healthy changes to their eating plan are less likely to need diabetes and heart medicines. Ask your health care team about your healthy eating plan and all your medicines. Ask if you need to change the amount of medicine you take or the food you eat before any physical activity.
Talk with your health care team about what types of physical activity are safe for you, such as walking, weightlifting, or housework. Certain activities may be unsafe for people who have low vision or have nerve damage to their feet.
My father Jed had diabetic neuropathy which is extremely painful!
He was a strong minded man who rarely complained even though he was in agony sometimes!
He was the type of man who tried to hide his illness from my mother Mary and us three children!
He never liked going to the doctor and refused to go even though he was feeling very ill before he was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes!
It is very important to make an appointment straight away to see your doctor if you are feeling unwell especially if you have a chronic illness like diabetes as it can often lead to serious complications like diabetic neuropathy if you dont get an early diagnosis!
Decide in advance what type of physical activity you’ll do. Before you start, also choose:
the days and times you’ll be physically active
the length of each physical activity session
your plan for warming up, stretching, and cooling down for each physical activity session
a backup plan, such as where you’ll walk if the weather is bad
how you will measure your progress
To make sure you stay active, find activities you like to do. If you keep finding excuses not to be physically active, think about why.
Find an exercise buddy.
Many people find they are more likely to be physically active if someone joins them. Ask a friend or family member to be your exercise buddy.
When you do physical activities with a buddy you may find that you:
enjoy the company
stick to the physical activity plan
are more eager to do physical activities
Being active with your family may help everyone stay at a healthy weight. Keeping a healthy weight may prevent them from developing diabetes or prediabetes. Prediabetes is when the amount of glucose in your blood is above normal yet not high enough to be called diabetes.
Decide how you’ll track your physical activity.
Write down your blood glucose levels and when and how long you are physically active in a record book. You’ll be able to track your progress and see how physical activity affects your blood glucose.
Decide how you’ll reward yourself.
Reward yourself with a nonfood item or activity when you reach your goals. For example, treat yourself to a movie or a book or buy a new plant for the garden.
What kinds of Physical Activity Can Help Diabetics?
Many kinds of physical activity can help you take care of your diabetes. Even small amounts of physical activity can help. You can measure your physical activity level by how much effort you use.
Doctors suggest that you aim for 30 to 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity most days of the week. Children and adolescents with type 2 diabetes who are 10 to 17 years old should aim for 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity every day.
Your health care team can tell you more about what kind of physical activity is best for you. They can also tell you when and how much you can increase your physical activity level.
Light physical activity.
Light activity is easy. Your physical activity level is light if you:
are breathing normally
are not sweating
can talk normally or even sing
Moderate physical activity.
Moderate activity feels somewhat hard. Your physical activity level is moderate if you:
are breathing quickly, yet you’re not out of breath
are lightly sweating after about 10 minutes of activity
can talk normally, yet you can’t sing
Vigorous physical activity.
Vigorous, or intense, activity feels hard. Your physical activity level is vigorous if you:
are breathing deeply and quickly
are sweating after a few minutes of activity
can’t talk normally without stopping for a breath
Not all physical activity has to take place at the same time. You might take a walk for 20 minutes, lift hand weights for 10 minutes, and walk up and down the stairs for 5 minutes.
Breaking the physical activity into different groups can help. You can:
do aerobic exercise
do strength training to build muscle
do stretching exercises
add extra activity to your daily routine
How much exercise is right for you? For people with diabetes 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week is recommended.
Strength Training For Diabetics
Strength training is one of the best things you can do for your body. It’s a key part of any fitness plan.
Don’t belong to a gym with weight machines? No problem! You can use hand-held weights, resistance bands, or even your own body weight to build muscle.
It’s never too late to start. As you age, strength training (also called resistance training), can help you keep doing everyday activities such as walking, lifting things, and climbing stairs. Plus, it’s good for your bones.
Motivated to add strength training to your fitness routine, but not sure how? Here’s how to get started.
Stretch early, stretch often. Stretching, in addition to regular physical activity, may help the body control blood glucose and respond to insulin by improving circulation. Feel better throughout your day by starting off with these 8 simple stretches.
Building balance helps you stay steady on your feet and can reduce your risk for falling and injuring yourself. Balance exercises are especially important for older adults to incorporate into their exercise routine. Examples of balance exercises include:
Walking backwards or sideways
Walking heel to toe in a straight line
Standing on one leg at a time
Standing from a sitting position
Both lower body and core muscle strength training also help improve balance.
Exercise, or physical activity, includes anything that gets you moving, such as walking, dancing, or working in the yard. Regular physical activity is important for everyone, but it is especially important for people with diabetes and those at risk for diabetes.That doesn’t mean you need to run a marathon or bench-press 300 pounds. The goal is to get active and stay active by doing things you enjoy, from gardening to playing tennis to walking with friends.
Be More Active Throughout the Day
In addition to formal aerobic exercise and strength training, there are many chances to be active throughout the day.
Remember – the more you move, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to keep your blood glucose levels in on target!
More and more research is finding that sitting too much for long periods of time is harmful to our health.
Just getting up once an hour to stretch or walk around the office is better than sitting for hours on end in a chair. Take every opportunity you can to get up and move.
Here are just a few ways you can do it:
Take the stairs instead of the elevator at the office and in the parking garage
Get up once an hour while you are at work and take a quick walk around your office
Stand up and stretch at your desk
If you go out for lunch, walk to the restaurant
If you take public transportation to work, get off a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way to your office
Use a speaker or mobile phone so you can pace around your office during conference calls
Try some chair exercises during the day while at your desk
Fidget (when appropriate) – tap or wiggle your foot while working at your desk
Take the dog for a walk around the block
Do your own yard work such as mowing the lawn or raking leaves
Do your own housework such as vacuuming, dusting, or washing dishes
Play with the kids – play catch or throw the Frisbee around
Walk in place during the commercials of your favorite television show
Carry things upstairs or from the car in two trips instead of one
Walk around the house or up and down stairs while you talk on the phone
While You’re Out and About
Park at the far end of the shopping center lot and walk to the store
Walk down every aisle of the grocery store
If you are at the airport and waiting for a flight, walk up and down through the terminal
When on a road trip, stop every few hours to stretch and walk around
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