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How much exercise should a person with diabetes do?

Regular exercise has been proven to improve blood sugar, blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels besides playing a role in enhancing weight loss and sense of well-being. Regular physical activity may even prevent type 2 diabetes in people at high risk (e.g., those with glucose intolerance, family history of diabetes, hypertension, abnormal blood cholesterol, sedentary lifestyle, excess body fat, polycystic ovary syndrome, gestational diabetes, history of giving birth to large babies, etc.).
The U.S. Surgeon General urges most adults to do at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise on most, but ideally all, days of the week. For people with diabetes, the American Diabetes Association recommends at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity. The exercise entails achieving 50-70% of one’s maximum heart rate which is calculated by subtracting one’s age from 220.

Furthermore, people with type 2 diabetes are encouraged to perform resistance training 3 times a week if there are no contraindications. Clinical studies have shown improved blood glucose levels for resistance training for older adults with type 2 diabetes and even greater benefits with the combination of resistance and aerobic exercises.

At least 8 weeks of structured exercise programs have resulted in improved glucose control as measured by HbA1c reduction (about 0.66% on the average) in people with type 2 diabetes. Moreover, exercises of higher intensity are linked to greater improvements of HbA1c and fitness.

Before you embark on a vigorous exercise program, make sure you get your doctor’s permission to do so. He may opt to do some tests to check your heart out. He will also need to know about your proposed exercise schedule as your diabetes medications may need to be adjusted accordingly.

Certain types of exercise may not be advisable or may predispose you to injury particularly if you have uncontrolled blood pressure, severe neuropathy (diabetic nerve damage), history of foot problems and advanced retinopathy (diabetic eye damage). Your health care provider can help you decide which exercises would be right for you.

Once you get the green light to exercise, particularly for beginners, remember to start low and go slow. Begin with low-intensity exercises, then gradually work your way up as the weeks go by. Don’t forget to warm up before and cool down after each work out.

Also, it is important to check your blood sugar before, during and after you work out. Lack of insulin coupled with high blood sugar before exercise may get worse and predispose people with type 1 diabetes to ketosis. For those on insulin and/or insulin-releasing medications, hypoglycemia (low blood sugar level) may result from physical activity. If pre-exercise blood sugar is below 100 mg/dL, one may need to take extra carbohydrate before the workout. Carbohydrate sources should be readily available during and after exercise.

Start reaping the rewards of physical activity today. Combined with the proper diet and a healthy lifestyle, exercise can help you achieve a longer, fuller and happier life with diabetes.

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Comments:1

  1. ILMOGUEH Reply
    09/10/30

    I MADE EVERY DAY ONE HOUR OF WALK EVENT MY BLOOD SUGAR IS 90 MG/DL OR LESS.IT’S OK .OR I EAT EACH A CARBOHYDRATE.

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