Keep Active With Diabetes

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Exercising with Diabetes

There’s no question that exercise is important. It’s especially important if you have diabetes. It can help you improve your control over your blood sugar, maintain body health and decrease chances of future medical incidents such as stroke or heart failure. However, there are important precautions to take before, during, and after exercising.


Before beginning a new exercise regimen, consult with your physician. Be honest about your activity level up to this point and ask for recommendations on methods and best times of the day to be active. Consider exercising in moderation by swimming, bicycling or power walking four days a week for 30 to 45 minutes.

Test your blood sugar 30 minutes before participating in the activity. Generally, a range from 100 to 250 milligrams per deciliter is considered safe for exercise. If yours is lower, take glucose tablets or eat a snack containing about 30 grams of carbohydrates. If your blood sugar is higher, it may be too dangerous to participate, as there may not be enough insulin in your body to regulate your blood sugar.


You should continue to monitor your blood sugar even during your workout. Changes in how hard you exercise or how much time you spend doing it can cause fluctuations in your body’s level. Test yourself every 30 minutes to gauge your body’s blood sugar.

If you feel confused or shaky during your activity, or if your blood sugar level drops to less than 70 mg/dL, stop exercising. Don’t begin again until it is stable once more. Eating or drinking something containing 15 to 20 grams of fast-acting carbohydrates may help.


As your body begins the process of rebuilding after strenuous activity, it takes sugar from your blood to replace what you used during exercise. Longer, more intense workouts lead to longer-lasting effects on your blood sugar. It may seem redundant, but it’s important to check your blood sugar again once you have finished exercising. Do it immediately after your workout and continue to check in the next few hours. If you test low after your activity, eat or drink something with carbohydrates similar to the recommended pre-exercise snack. Otherwise, help your body rebuild by eating foods with slower-acting carbohydrates

It is true that diabetic people face more of a hassle when engaging in strenuous activity. However, monitoring your blood sugar throughout the entire process is a necessary precaution to take to keep you safe and healthy. The more you participate in exercise, the more you will understand how your body reacts to it and how to maintain healthy blood sugar throughout your participation.

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