Staying Active   

Staying physically active is another way to help control blood sugar, along with following a healthy meal plan and taking your prescribed medications. Staying active is a good idea for everyone, but it’s even more important for people with diabetes.

 

Before you start

Talk with your diabetes care team before you start an activity program. They can help you decide what kind of physical activities are right for you. You'll also want to discuss the diabetes medicines you take. You may need to change the amount you take when you exercise.

 

Ideas for physical activity when you have diabetes

  • Extra daily activity. Chores like walking the dog, cleaning the house, and washing the car are ways you can use to boost your activity level. The idea is to lengthen some of your daily tasks in order to be active longer. You can also replace some daily activities with more active ones. For instance, instead of taking a coffee break or having a snack, you could go for a walk
  • Aerobic exercise. This type of activity means raising your heart rate. With aerobic exercise, you use the large muscles in your body, such as the ones in your legs. This could include brisk walking or hiking, cycling, basketball or other sports, dancing, or taking an aerobics class 
  • Strength training. Lifting weights or working with resistance can help you build muscle. This type of exercise can help you burn calories more easily. That’s because muscle burns more calories than fat. With larger, stronger muscles, you may find that you have better coordination and balance
  • Stretching. Simple stretches like touching your toes or sitting cross-legged can make your muscles more flexible. It can also help your muscles feel less sore after exercise or a long, active day

Get over the hurdle of starting an exercise routine with help from Cornerstones4Care®. 

 

Exercise and low blood sugar

Staying active lowers blood sugar. But it may lower it too much if you also take insulin. This can result in low blood sugar (or hypoglycemia). This can happen during exercise, right after exercise, or even up to 24 hours after you work out. Always check your blood sugar level before, during, and after exercising. Keep a fast-acting carbohydrate snack with you in case you experience low blood sugar. To learn the symptoms of low blood sugar, download and print this useful Low Blood Sugar Fact Sheet. Have it with you when you do any type of physical activity.

 

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