Exercise is an important component in the management of diabetes. With busy schedules including the time needed every day to check blood glucose levels, record readings and administer insulin, finding even a half hour to exercise can be difficult. But those thirty minutes don’t have to be all at once in order to be effective. Dr. George Griffing, Professor of Endocrinology at the Saint Louis University School of Medicine in St. Louis, says to exercise for ten minutes, three times a day. “We need people with diabetes up and moving,” he says. Physical activity can help break down sugar in the blood and bring your numbers into a reasonable range – start with something simple like walking or brisk jogging. Other activities such as strenuous housework or gardening can count towards your daily exercise goals, but it is easy to overestimate the amount of calories burned. To help you monitor your daily activity, fitness tools like a pedometer or an Apple Watch can help you stay on track. (www.health.com15 Exercise Tips for People With Type 2 Diabetes – Health)
Sharing your fitness time with a friend can make getting in your exercise more manageable. Shoot some hoops with your kids or take a daily stroll with your friend or neighbor. Create fitness goals and reward yourself when you reach them – even if it is something as simple as reading your favorite magazine after a 30 minute stroll or buying some new clothes after a few pounds lost.
Motivate your fitness regime by trying new classes at the gym – maybe a Zumba class or hip hop? Don’t worry about how you look bopping around. Focus on how good you’ll feel working towards your fitness goals and keeping your blood sugar levels in better range.
For some people living with diabetes, certain exercises should be avoided if you are dealing with specific complications. Michael See is a clinical exercise physiologist at the Joslin Diabetes Center and he cautions that people with Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy should avoid activities that are high-impact or involve strenuous lifting. People with peripheral neuropathy have less sensation in their feet and repetitive exercise may cause fractures or ulcers. See suggests that you choose low impact or non-weight bearing types of exercise. Of course before starting any exercise program, you are advised to speak with a doctor and diabetes care team to build an inclusive wellness program. (Exercises to Avoid When You Have Diabetes | www.joslin.org)
Most importantly, don’t forget to your Dario when you hit the gym. Check your blood sugar levels before and after physical activity to see how your BG levels are impacted by physical activity. If you feel any hypo or hyper symptoms, during your exercise, take a breather and check with your Dario. You can log your activity directly into your Dario Diabetes Management App along with your daily calorie and carb intake. Going for a run? Dario connects with RunKeeper to making keeping track even easier. You can also feel more secure that if you have a hypo while working out, your loved ones and caregivers can be alerted through Dario’s hypo alert contact. With Dario you won’t miss out on the fun because your health information is readily available and accessible. Please see www.mydario.com for more information.
Go on out, run, skip rope, lift weights and be at your optimal health level with Dario at your side!