Diabetes Exercise – 8 Steps To Help You Get Started

diabetes_excerciseExercise plays a vital role when managing your diabetes.

You don’t actually need to do anything strenuous, even just going for a walk; a bike ride or a swim can make a huge difference.

So what affect does exercise have on your blood sugar levels?

Whenever you are active your body needs energy to work efficiently and it gets this from the glucose yours contains.

Normally when you do some sort of activity for a short period of time your body releases glucose to provide energy to your muscles and liver.

However if you are doing any kind of activity for an extended period of time, say going for a 20-minute walk then your muscles will need to be supplied with more energy.

Often the amount of glucose your muscles takes up is 20 times more than what would normally be required when you are inactive or only doing some activity for a very short space of time (like running to catch a train).

Be aware however that often after completing some very intense forms of exercise your blood sugar levels may rise. But this is only temporary and normally will return back to normal once you have relaxed.

If you haven’t been exercising on a regular basis, then now is the time to start.  By following the steps you should find that sticking to your new exercise regime becomes a lot easier.  Plus not only will you start to see a difference your body will start to feel the difference as well.

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Step 1 – Speak To Your Doctor

Make sure you tell them what it is you want to do.  They will then tell you whether you are ready or not. They may also suggest that some changes are made to your diet and your medication to compensate for what you will be losing whilst you exercise.   Also your doctor may well tell you when you should and shouldn’t be exercising.

Step 2 – Pick An Activity You Will Enjoy

Ideally you need to select an activity that will help to increase your heart rate.  If your overall aerobic fitness levels are higher then managing your blood sugar levels becomes a lot easier.  You could start off with going for a brisk walk before moving up to say going for a run or a cycle ride.  Even swimming is a great way of helping to get your heart pumping.

Step 3 – Check Your Blood Sugar Levels

Speak to your doctor to find out whether you should be checking your blood sugar levels prior to you beginning to exercise.  Also if you are intending to work out for an hour or more then I would highly recommend that you check yours regularly throughout the session.

This way you can immediately see whether you need to eat something or not.  Plus also make sure that you check your blood sugar levels after your workout has completed.   Keeping a note of what your levels are during this time is a good idea, and then if any issues arise you can speak to your doctor about them.

Step 4 – Have Carbs Close By

Always make sure that you have a small carb snack close by such as some fruit or a fruit drink.  Then if you notice your blood sugar levels are starting to dip you can compensate for it.

Step 5 – Take Things Slowly

If you haven’t exercised for some time then you need to start off slowly.  Begin with just doing 10 minutes of exercise each day and then gradually build up over the coming weeks to being able to do 30 minutes each day.

Step 6 – Include Some Strength Training Into Your Regime

This form of exercise is crucial, as you will find that it helps you to control your blood sugar levels more effectively.

Step 7 – Create A Routine

If at all possible make sure that you exercise, eat and take your Type 2 Diabetes medication at the same time each day.  By doing this you are reducing the chances of you developing hypoglycemia.

Step 8 – Keep Yourself Hydrated

It is important that you drink plenty of water before, during and after you have exercised.   If you become dehydrated this could lead to a spike in your blood sugar levels as your body tries to use more energy to help compensate.

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