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If You Suffer From Diabetes Learn This Before Exercising

There are a number of reasons why you might be facing a diagnosis of diabetes. Now that you have a health condition, it’s important to take care of your body by eating foods that are appropriate for your treatment plan and getting adequate amounts of exercise for your condition.

If you are recently diagnosed, it’s vital to understand how exercise can help you manage your diabetes. That’s going to require talking to your doctor to determine the right amount and kinds of physical activity for you. In the meantime, here’s what you need to know about exercising when you have diabetes.

Why Exercise?

Often a diagnosis of diabetes comes due to being overweight or obese. By getting regular exercise, you can control your weight and possibly lose enough to reverse the disease or make it less severe. Exercise can also help regulate your blood sugar levels, keeping them within the normal range by controlling how much and how quickly your body uses glucose from the foods you eat.

Additionally, regular exercise helps your insulin absorb the right amount of glucose, which gives your body the energy it needs. Just a short amount of exercise each day and a small amount of weight loss can make a significant difference in the complications and issues you face as a result of having diabetes. Exercise also cuts your risk of heart disease, which can be exacerbated with a diagnosis of diabetes.

Walking Is A Superior Choice

Walking is a great idea for people with diabetes and is often recommended by doctors as a way to treat the illness. As mentioned above, the main reason why you need to exercise when you have diabetes is because it helps prevent weight gain and heart disease, both of which are contributors to death for people who have the condition.

Walking is a pretty low-intensity form of exercise and allows a person to go as far and as fast as they are able. Start taking a walk each day once you’ve been diagnosed, and you can gain some sense of control over your health and may even be able to minimize some of the symptoms you’re dealing with.

Other Exercise Choices

For some people with diabetes, there will be no restrictions regarding the type of exercise you choose. That means you can continue with a current workout program or create one that will help you control your illness. Great choices include swimming, jogging, running, biking, lifting weights, yoga and much more. You can mix and match exercise types to create a routine you can stick with. Because exercise is such a necessary part of treatment for diabetes, make sure you choose something you enjoy so that you’re more likely to stick with it and reap the benefits it has to offer.

Getting Started

Now that you understand the importance of exercise when you have been given a diagnosis of diabetes, it’s time to get started. As said before, your first step is discussing your options with your physician. Together you can decide which forms of exercise are appropriate and how much time and intensity you should include in your routine. Then make a plan that you can stick to in terms of when you’ll find time to exercise.

Many people find that they are more successful when they choose someone to exercise with. This holds you accountable and ensures that you show up. It’s also a good idea to keep track of your exercise so you can see what’s working and what isn’t. Finally, choose a reward to work toward so that you are more excited and motivated to get to the finish line.

Adding Extra Movement To The Day

In addition to a formal exercise routine, there are many easy ways to increase your movement and add activity to your day. Each of these little things will add up over the course of the day and help you burn calories, strengthen your muscles and stay healthy, despite a diagnosis of diabetes. Park your car a bit further from your destination so you can add some walking to your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Play on the playground with your kids, or take them for a walk at the zoo or museum.

Yard work and housework are other ways to burn calories and move more. Raking leaves, gardening, cleaning windows, vacuuming and mopping, shoveling snow and dusting are all good ideas. Lift weights or jump rope while you watch your favorite television programs. Building this extra movement into your day will make a dramatic difference, especially when combined with your workout schedule.

Cautions To Understand

Most people with diabetes are approved for regular exercise. The importance of discussing this with your doctor isn’t something to take lightly because there are certain diabetic individuals who should limit their workouts or take a break from exercise. That includes those who have chronically high blood sugar, kidney disease, eye disease or heart disease. If you have nerve complications, exercise sets you up for injuries as well. If you have any of these symptoms, be sure you take them into account when choosing a form and intensity of exercise. If you’re exercising and experience any side effect, such as dizziness, pain, tingling or other problems, stop and contact your doctor right away.

Seeing Your Doctor

if-you-suffer-from-diabetes-learn-this-before-exercising-pinSometimes, a person is able to reverse or minimize their diabetes and its symptoms through treatment. As you work through your exercise routine, make sure you see your doctor on a regular basis to ensure that your medications and lifestyle changes don’t need to be adjusted. If you’re losing weight, you may need to decrease the amount of certain medications you’re taking.

You may also need to change your calorie intake to keep your diabetes in check and your progress on track. A written exercise plan is a valuable tool to have because it helps you keep your routine organized and prevents you from having to memorize all aspects of the program. Keeping an exercise journal allows your doctor to go over your routine with you and assist you in making necessary changes as needed to protect your health and control your diabetes.

Diabetes doesn’t have to ruin your life or interfere with the things you love to do. There’s no reason why a diagnosis should stop you from being active and enjoying physical activity.

In fact, if you have such a lifestyle, you could prevent many of the issues that diabetics face after being diagnosed. The important thing is to understand your limitations and make your workout beneficial to your health.

The bonus here is that regular exercise is also helpful for other aspects of your health, including minimizing the risk of heart disease and cancer, just to name two. Starting a good exercise program is a choice you’ll never regret making.


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Katherine Hurst
By Shauna Walker
Personal trainer, fitness coach and wellness expert for over twenty years. Shauna is able to connect personally with her clients because I faced my own wellness challenges at a young age. She started her personal journey towards feeling fit and healthy twenty years ago, and has never looked back. Once struggling with her weight, she also had confidence issues and found it hard to stick with diet and exercise. Shauna managed to break free of this struggle, and now wants to give back and share the lessons she has learned.

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