Beat Your Diabetes With Exercise For a Healthy Life
Image Placeholder Physical activity on a regular basis along with diet changes is the cornerstone of diabetes management. Being over-weight or obese puts you at high risk for developing diabetes. If you have a family history of diabetes and are obese with a BMI >25 kg/m2 extra measures to lose weight might be needed.

Higher BMI’s in general have a strong co-relation with the prevalence of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases and if you happen to fall into the overweight or obese category, increasing your physical activity and exercise will help you a great deal.

Benefits of Exercise in Diabetes
  • Weight loss
  • Lowers Blood Pressure
  • Reduces risk for heart diseases
  • Controls blood sugar levels
  • Increases self confidence
Image Placeholder Different Types of Exercises
  • Aerobic exercise: Endurance type exercise sustained for sometimes. Example: Walking, jogging, running, cycling, swimming.
  • Strength (Resistance) exercise: Weight training with free weights or machines
  • Flexibility exercise: Stretching exercises
Warm up and Cool down are important aspects of your exercise routine. Always remember to incorporate them.
Exercise Tips
  • Drink extra fluid before, during (only if prolonged exercise) and after exercise to avoid dehydration.
  • The fluid may be water or a sweetened drink if extra carbohydrate is required. 250 ml every 15 minutes or one liter of fluid per hour is recommended.
  • Take extra carbohydrate before and during exercise to prevent hypoglycaemia. Extra carbohydrate is often needed after exercise. Discuss adjusting carbohydrate intake with your doctor or dietitian.
  • Monitor your blood glucose levels before, if possible during (at least initially), and after exercise to assess your requirements for extra food.
  • It may be necessary to reduce your insulin dose prior to exercise. Insulin adjustment varies with each individual. Discuss appropriate adjustments to suit your exercise schedule with your doctor.
Examples of Moderate Exercise
  • Brisk walking.
  • Recreational swimming.
  • Volleyball.
  • Slow aerobics.
  • Moderate cycling.
  • Gardening.
  • Tennis and Badminton .
Examples of Vigorous Exercise
  • Jogging
  • Running
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Rope skipping
  • Squash
  • Fast aerobics
  • Fast cycling
  • Stepping
  • Soccer
Things Diabetics Need to Keep in Mind During Exercising
  • Use proper shoes, with silica gel or air-filled soles, and always keep feet dry.
  • For those with feet problems, avoid running - Alternate between walking, swimming, and cycling.
  • When using insulin, avoid exercise if glucose levels are below 100 mg/dl or above 250 mg/dl.
  • Do not inject insulin into a body part that is expected to be used during exercise.
  • Avoid dehydration by keeping your body always hydrated.
Be Aware of a Hypoglycemic Episode While Exercising
Hypoglycemia may happen if :
  • The patient takes insulin or diabetes pill.
  • Skips a meal.
  • Exercises for a long time.
  • Exercises strenuously.
If Hypoglycemia happens the patient should immediately consume a source of carbohydrate like candy, glucose drink, juice or anything sweet.