Diabetes: Take Control With Physical Activity

When you should eat and what you should eat depends on how much you exercise. Exercise is an important part of staying healthy and controlling your blood glucose. Physical activity should be safe and enjoyable, so talk with your doctor about what types of exercise are right for you. Whatever kind of exercise you do, here are some special things that people with diabetes need to remember:

  • Take care of your feet. Make sure your shoes fit properly and your socks stay clean and dry. Check your feet   for redness or sores after exercising. Call your doctor if you have sores that do not heal.
  • Drink about 2 cups of water before you exercise, about every 20 minutes during exercise, and after you finish,  even if you don’t feel thirsty.
  • Warm up and cool down for 5 to 10 minutes before and after exercising. For example, walk slowly at first and  then walk faster. Finish up by walking slowly again.
  • Test your blood glucose before and after exercising. Do not exercise if your fasting blood glucose level is above  300. Eat a small snack if your blood glucose is below 100.
  • Know the signs of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) and how to treat it. Signs to look for are feeling weak or dizzy, sweating more, noticing sudden changes in your heartbeat, or feeling hungry. If you experience these symptoms, stop exercising and test your blood glucose.