Effective Strategies For Exercising With Type 2 Diabetes
Exercise is good for everyone, especially if you have type 2 diabetes, for better blood sugar control and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. When you exercise, your body needs extra energy from glucose. For short bursts of activity, such as a quick sprint to catch the bus, your muscles and liver release glucose for fuel. If you’re doing moderate exercise for a longer time, your muscles take up glucose at up to 20 times the normal rate which helps lower your blood sugar levels.
1. Talk to your doctor and let them know what you plan so they can check to see if you need to change your meals, insulin, or diabetes medicines. Your doctor can also advise you if it matters when you exercise and ask your doctor if you should check your blood sugar before exercise. If you’re going to exercise for more than an hour, check your blood sugar levels regularly during this time, so you’ll know if you need a snack. Check your blood sugar after every workout, so that you can adjust if needed.
2. Always keep a small carbohydrate snack, like fruit or a fruit drink, on hand in case your blood sugar gets low.
3. Choose an activity you enjoy. Anything that raises your heart rate and keeps it up while you’re working out will improve your aerobic fitness which will help you manage your blood sugar levels.
4. If you’re not active now, ease into it and start with 10 minutes of exercise at a time, and gradually work your way up to 30 minutes a day.
5. Try to strength train at least twice a week as this can improve blood sugar control.
6. Make it a habit. Exercise, eat, and take your medicines at the same time each day to prevent hypoglycaemia. Also, wear a medical identification tag, or carry a card that states that you have diabetes, particularly if you are exercising alone so that others may help you appropriately in the event something unexpected happens.
7. If possible, exercise with someone who knows you have diabetes and knows what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. Also it’s more fun to exercise with someone else, it can help you stick with it.
8. Wear good shoes, and practice proper foot care.
9. Drink water before, during, and after exercise to prevent dehydration.
10. Stop if you have any unexpected pain. Mild muscle soreness is normal. Sudden pain is not.