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Exercises for Diabetes - Helpful in to Control Diabetes

Jul 4, 2008
Diabetes means that your blood glucose (also called blood sugar) is too high. Your body uses glucose for energy. But having too much glucose in your blood can hurt you. When you take care of your diabetes, you will feel better. You will reduce your risk for problems with your kidneys, eyes, nerves, feet and legs, and teeth. You will also lower your risk for a heart attack or a stroke.

People with diabetes are encouraged to exercise regularly for better blood sugar control and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The reason for this is that muscles which are working use more glucose than those that are resting.

Muscle movement leads to greater sugar uptake by muscle cells and lower blood sugar levels. Additional benefits of exercise include a healthier heart, better weight control and stress management. There are some exercise precautions which people with diabetes must take, however, when done safely, exercise is a valuable aid to optimal health.

Exercise, along with good nutrition, helps decrease body fat, which helps normalize glucose metabolism. Also, exercise helps ower coronary risk factors like high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Cardiovascular training should be the foundation of the exercise program. Aim for at least 20 minutes of sustained activity three to five days per week. If one suffers from loss of sensitivity in the feet, avoid exercises such as prolonged walking, jogging or step exercises. Better choices for cardiovascular exercise would be swimming, bicycling, rowing, chair exercises and other non-weight bearing activities. Fluid intake is important during exercise, and especially so with cardiovascular activity and the diabetic exerciser. Consider a high-glucose sports drink like Gatorade or fruit juices over water, which can help keep blood sugar from going too low. Drink fluid before, during and after exercise.

Aerobic exercise

Since many Type 2 diabetics are sedentary and overweight, low-impact exercise such as walking or stationary cycling is recommended, along with enough exercise to promote weight management. Their goal should be to exercise five times per week, up to 40 - 60 minutes per session at a moderate intensity. This level of exercise can be reached gradually, starting as low as 10 - 20 minutes a few times a week for a person who has never exercised. Remember to increase only one factor at a time (days per week, length of session, or intensity).

Flexibility exercises -

Flexibility exercises, also called stretching, help keep joints flexible and reduce the chances of injury during other activities. Gentle stretching for 5 to 10 minutes helps the body to warm up, as well as get ready for aerobic activities.

Remember: Exercise is powerful therapy, so powerful that you should not try it without a little professional guidance. (After all, you had never start taking extra-strong diabetes pills without your doctors okay.) Your doctor can help you fit exercise into your overall health plan. You may need to adjust your medications, carry snacks or drinks, or tweak your diet to help prevent hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). This can happen to people with Type 2 diabetes, but its much more common for people with Type 1. If you have this type of diabetes, you will have to work especially closely with your doctor to find the right balance of exercise, diet, and medications
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