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Learn How Physical Activity Plays A Key Role in Controlling Your Diabetes!

Mar 15, 2008
Everybody knows the fact that physical activity has great benefits on your health. Regular physical activity can help you in controlling your blood glucose, blood pressure and weight. Also it shows a great rise in your good cholesterol level and at the same time lowers your bad cholesterol level.

Physical activity helps with the problem associated with heart and blood flow. It reduces the risk of nerve damage and heart disease, which are the problems resulting from diabetes.

Types of physical activity suitable for diabetics:

Before starting any kind of physical activity, consult your doctor about what kind is right for you. Exercises which you need to practice will depend upon whether you have any other health problems.

Most of the practitioners will recommend you aerobic exercises as they make you breathe more deeply and make your heart work harder. You can practice the exercises like walking, jogging, bicycling or aerobic dancing. Along with these, some other exercises like hiking, skating, skiing, basket ball, tennis, and volleyball are good to practice as they will work with large muscles, improves your heart rate and make you breathe deeper and harder.

If you have any nerve problems associated with your feet or legs, then your doctor recommend you to do the exercises which won't cause stress on your feet. People with these types of problems can practice exercises like rowing, bicycling, swimming or chair exercises.

Regardless of what type of exercise you do, warming up before you start and cooling down after you are completed is must. In order to warm up, practice low-intensity exercises like walking for 5-10 minutes. Then stretch for another 5-10 minutes gently. Repeat the same procedure after exercising in order to cool down.

According to the experts, practicing moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes on each day for 5 days per week is good for diabetics. If you are unfamiliar with any of the physical activity, then you can start with a little workout. When you become familiar, you can add extra time for the physical activity.

Walking each day for 10-20 minutes is better than one hour once a week. Consult your health care provider to get a safe exercise plan.

Safety measures while exercising for people with diabetes: You need to consider few things while exercising.

Physical activity is dangerous for people with high complications:

Avoiding some kinds of exercises is must for people who have complications associated with diabetes. Lifting heavy weights causes some problems for people with eye problems, blood vessels and blood pressure.

Hypoglycemia due to physical activity:

Your blood glucose level drops too much with physical activity and results in hypoglycemia. This condition can quickly result in people who take oral medications and insulin. Hypoglycemia can happen while you are exercising, after completion or even after a day.

This condition results in situations like becoming weak, confused, anxious, tired, sweaty, shaky, irritable, or hungry. Even it can result in severe headache or loss of consciousness.

In order to prevent hypoglycemia, before practicing any of the physical activity, check the blood glucose level. If the level is below 100, you can take glucose tablets or have a small snack when you exercise. After completion of physical activity, once again check your glucose level and observe the change.

Glucose level above 300:

Don't practice physical activity if your blood glucose level is very high. Exercising with blood glucose level above 300 is not safe. Also, do not exercise if you have ketones in the urine or your fasting blood glucose level is above 250.

Wear comfortable clothes:

Wearing comfortable clothes, athletic shoes with cotton socks is very important so that you will feel well and comfortable while exercising. After completion of exercise, check your feet for any cuts, sores, injuries, blisters, or irritation.

Consume plenty of water:

Drinking plenty of water during physical activity is essential as physical activity causes dehydration.

Know when to stop the physical activity:

If you notice any symptoms like shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, faintness, heart palpitations or pain in your arm or in jaw, immediately stop doing exercise. If you don't feel well within 15 minutes, then immediately seek medical help.

Physical activity for people with type I diabetes:

In people with type I diabetes, there is a considerable variation in their blood glucose levels depending on the type of exercise, intensity, duration, carbohydrate intake and timing of insulin administration.

There is a decrease in blood glucose levels with low-moderate intensity exercises, which increases the risk of hypoglycemia and there is a rise in blood glucose levels with high intensity exercises. These effects can be controlled with the right balance between carbohydrate intake to insulin and proper planning of timing and type of exercise.

Every one with type I diabetes will show a different response to different workouts. The only way to determine your response is self monitoring of your blood glucose levels. Monitoring glucose levels before, during and after a great amount of time to observe how the exercise affected your blood glucose level is very important.

Physical activity for people with type II diabetes:

Exercise is essential in managing type II diabetes. Combining exercise with diet and medicine will help in controlling your weight and blood glucose levels.

Physical activity helps in controlling type II diabetes by:

Decreasing your blood pressure
Reducing the risk of heart disease
Improving your blood circulation
Improving your energy levels and work capacity
Improving your muscle strength
Burning excess and stored body fat, assisting to reduce and control your weight
Improving strength and bone density
Diminishing stress, tension and anxiety, and promoting relaxation
Protecting against blood vessel and heart disease by increasing good cholesterol and decreasing bad cholesterol

Most of the type II diabetics are sedentary and overweight, it is recommended to do low-impact exercises like cycling or walking.

Along with exercise; medication and good nutrition are enough to make a diabetic feel good and live a full life.
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