While managing blood sugar is usually associated with diet control, it’s observed that a healthy lifestyle and active exercise help a great deal in maintaining blood sugar also. Regularly exercising your body is a sure way to stay healthy. Although exercise is great for the body and even for managing blood sugar, it’s important that diabetics note a few details about the exercises that are safe for them.
Here are six exercise tips to better manage blood sugar:
1. Check In With Your Doctor
Just like every other thing that relates to your health, you have to check in with your doctor to determine if it’s safe for you to exercise or not. Even when you’re cleared that it’s safe to exercise, you still need to confirm the types of exercise you should do as rigorous exercises may have a negative effect on your health. Your doctor will also let you know if there are diet changes you need to make to adjust properly to the exercise.
2. Choose Your Exercise
There are a lot of exercises to choose from, but not all is safe for you. You’ll need to make a list of all your favorite exercises and check with your doctor the ones that are suitable for you. Active but less rigorous exercises like dancing, brisk walking, and yoga, among others, may be advised. You can also switch to different safe exercises to avoid monotonous exercises that could get boring with time.
Other types of exercise you could engage in includes biking and swimming. The important thing, however, is to do the exercises you enjoy doing. That way, you’ll look forward to your exercise time and you’ll be consistent with it.
3. Regularly Monitor Your Blood Sugar
One of the major advantages of exercising for a diabetic patient is it helps maintain the blood sugar by ensuring that it doesn’t rise above the normal range. However, exercise can also cause a sudden reduction in blood sugar, especially if your diet isn’t measuring up to the level of exercise you’re engaging in. To avoid an accident or health emergency like hypoglycemia, it’s important to regularly check your blood sugar after exercise.
4. Stay Hydrated
The importance of hydration can’t be overemphasized. It's important that before, during, and after your exercise, you stay adequately hydrated. Exercise is likely going to cause dehydration in your body.
Dehydration has a tendency to increase your blood sugar reading. So, if you stay hydrated, you’d help the body control and manage your blood sugar during exercise.
5. Start Small
The journey of a thousand miles starts with a small step. This is why you should never be in a hurry to do all your exercises at once. The smart way is to start small and increase your capacity gradually as your body adjusts.
You can start by taking 100 steps of brisk walking per day, then you can increase it with time as your body can take it. If you feel your body is ready for it, you can further add some resistance exercise to your routine. Resistance exercise helps you build muscles instead of fat. Doing exercises like squats or push up will help burn the blood sugar, tone the muscle, and increase your strength.
6. Constantly Check For Foot Sores
Exercising regularly means you’d be making use of your feet more actively. This is why it's important to always check your foot for sores or blisters. Diabetes may reduce your foot sensitivity to pain, so relying on whether you feel any pain may not work. Instead, you need to check your foot visually to ascertain that it’s in great condition. This is important to prevent the risk of a foot ulcer or infected foot.
Benefits Of Exercises For A Diabetic Patient
Exercise is highly beneficial not only for diabetics trying to manage their blood sugar, but to everyone. These are some of the benefits of exercise to diabetic patients:
- It reduces the level of stress in the body and increases the quality of life.
- It controls the rising and falling of the blood sugar level and helps it maintain a healthy range.
- It increases the sensitivity of insulin in the body.
- It ensures a healthy weight.
- It helps maintain cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
Exercising regularly is a great way to live a healthy lifestyle. Everyone needs to be involved in active exercise, but it’s even better for a diabetic as it helps in managing blood sugar.
As beneficial as exercise is, it could be risky if some guidelines aren’t followed. Some of the tips and guidelines to follow include checking in with your doctor, choosing safe exercises, monitoring your blood sugar often, staying hydrated, starting small, and constantly checking for foot sores.