(MayoClinic.com) Thinking about adding exercise to your diabetes treatment plan? Good for you! Diabetes and exercise go hand in hand. Regular physical activity can help you improve your blood sugar control, as well as boost your overall fitness and reduce your risk of heart disease and nerve damage.
Learn more about how exercise affects your diabetes. Assess possible limitations, and keep your blood sugar on track as you increase your activity level.
Besides boosting your mood and energy levels, exercise leads to:
Before jumping into a fitness program, get your doctor's OK to exercise — especially if you've been inactive. Discuss with your doctor which activities you're contemplating and any limitations you may have.
For example, if you have diabetic retinopathy — abnormal growth of blood vessels on your retina — strenuous activity could lead to bleeding or retinal detachment. You may need to avoid certain activities, such as weightlifting or jogging. If you have reduced sensation in your feet, your doctor may recommend non-weight-bearing activities, such as swimming or biking.
Also discuss with your doctor the best time to exercise. If you take insulin, you might need to adjust your insulin dose before exercising or wait a few hours to exercise after injecting insulin.Exercise good judgment
When you're ready to exercise, start slowly. Work your way up to 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week. While you're working out, remember to take good care of yourself.
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