eWellness: Harvard Medical School's 4 exercising tips for people with diabetes |
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eWellness: Harvard Medical School's 4 exercising tips for people with diabetes
Dr KK Aggarwal,  26 November 2020
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Get a preflight check

  1. Talk to your doctor before starting or changing a fitness routine, especially if you are overweight or have a history of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, or diabetic neuropathy.
  2. Go for a complete physical exam and an exercise stress test if you are 35 or older or have had diabetes for more than 10 years. The results of the test can help ascertain the safest way to increase physical activity.

Spread your activity throughout the week

  1. Adults should aim for at least 160 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or 80 minutes of vigorous activity, or an equivalent mix of the two a week.
  2. Be active at least 3 to 5 days a week.

Time your exercise

  1. The best time to exercise is 1 to 3 hours after eating, when the blood sugar level is likely to be higher.
  2. For those who use insulin, it’s important to test blood sugar before exercising. If it is <100 mg/dL, eat some fruit or have a small snack to increase it to help avoid hypoglycemia. Test again 30 minutes later to see if the blood sugar level is stable.
  3. Check your blood sugar after any particularly exhausting workout or activity.
  4. For those using insulin, the risk of developing hypoglycemia may be highest 6 to 12 hours after exercising.
  5. Do not exercise if your blood sugar is too high (over 250).

Be prepared

  1. If ever, you experience a medical problem while exercising (or at any time), it is important that the people who care for you know that you have diabetes.
  2. Keep a candy or glucose tablets with you while exercising in case your blood sugar drops suddenly.
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