According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), more than 23.6 million people in the United States have diabetes. However, between five to 10 percent have type 1 diabetes and 90 to 95 percent have type 2 diabetes.
Physical fitness is good for everyone, especially people with diabetes. A regular fitness program burns fat, burns calories and helps you maintain or reach a healthy weight. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), ʺRegular exercise helps diabetics control the amount of sugar in their blood.ʺ
The best way to maintain blood glucose levels is balancing a nutritious diet and exercise. For example, when you exercise regularly you may need to decrease your insulin. Also, regular exercise may help prevent diabetes complications.
It is extremely important to contact your doctor before you begin any type of fitness or exercise program. If you can, meet with your doctor before you start your exercise program and bring the shoes you will be using to exercise. This way, they can make their recommendations for the best shoes for your needs.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends the following for individuals with type 1 diabetes:
• Bring foods (box of raisins, banana, granola bar, etc. )which contain carbohydrates in case your blood glucose level drops too low during or after exercise.
• Drink extra fluids that do not contain sugar before, during, and after exercise.
• Before and after exercising, monitor your blood glucose levels.
• If possible, exercise daily at the same time of day.
• Start out slow and select a fitness activity for your current fitness level.
• Try various activities and team activities so you don’t become bored with your fitness program.
• Wear a diabetes identification bracelet.
• Bring your cell phone in case of an emergency.
• You may need to adjust your medication and diet (to keep your blood glucose levels in an appropriate range) if you change the duration or intensity of your exercise program.
Also, the online magazine DiabeticLifestyle recommends the following for individuals with type 1 diabetes: