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Exercising Tips for Diabetes

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Exercise is great for anyone, right? If you have diabetes it can be a balancing act to coordinate, blood glucose levels (BG), medication, diet, cardiovascular exercise and strength training. Here are some tips to having a productive and safe workout with diabetes.

According to dlife®, always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise or fitness routine. Certain types of sports and activities may not be compatible with your health profile.

These are the tips they recommend:

• Check your BG before and after exercise.

• Keep a log to see how your BG responds to different activities.

• Keep a source of fast-acting carbohydrates (glucose gel/tablets, Sweet Tarts or juice) for hypoglycemic reactions.

• Muscles in action metabolize insulin injections faster and enhance the glucose lowering effect on exercise, posing a risk for hypoglycemia.

• Stay hydrated to prevent erratic BG levels and heat stroke.

• Always wear a medical ID tag or bracelet.

• Warm up and cool down. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 5-10 minutes of low intensity aerobic activity and stretching for an additional 5-10 minutes. The cool-down should also last 5-10 minutes.

• Dress appropriately with well-fitting shoes and socks. Wear breathable and weather appropriate clothing.

Exercise is a great way to stay fit and have fun. It seems to make my emotional state a better one, as well.

Living with diabetes usually means a structured routine. I try to make my exercise routine structured as well.

That seems to only go so well on certain days. That’s one of the beauties of diabetes. It is unpredictable and always in a state of fluctuation, despite the effort of control you have.

Do not give up! Most days I try to stick to my routine. Some days I’m simply tired. I don’t let myself stop exercising, but I take a very light day.

A simple walk with my dog to the mailbox might suffice. Other days, my BG is a bit too high to exercise and feel good.

I work hard to get it back down and have another light day of some sort. I do not give up.

On the days I do not think I am doing such a great job, I let that go. I’m a human and diabetes is not perfect.

I can focus on my attitude though. I can try to release the frustration, get my BG to a stable place and do the best I can that day.

Everyone should be exercising to the best of their ability. Move your body and you will reap the benefits.

If you have diabetes, come armed with knowledge and preparation in order to make exercise a livable part of your daily routine.

By Marianne Tetlow “The Diabetes Coach”
The Diabetes Coach is a comprehensive resource and consulting group for individuals or families with a loved one dealing with diabetes. “Helping You To Move Forward While Managing the Ups and Downs”


“Exercise Tips and Tools”, Dlife.com. Retrieved April 30, 2012

“Walk Away a Winner". Diabetes.org. Retrieved April 30, 2012

Reviewed May 1, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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