An Exercise Guide for Diabetes Patients

Suffering from diabetes? Don’t let diabetes keep you from participating in the exercises that you love. With the right tools and the right exercise program, you can enjoy working your muscles and improving your range of motion and overall health.

Why do I need to exercise?
Not only do doctors recommend exercise to their diabetes patients, it has been proven to help you maintain a healthy weight in addition to healthy blood flow. When you exercise, you strengthen the organs; especially the heart and they will all be able to do their jobs easier. Exercise is important if you have circulation issues as this will help to stimulate circulation to the joints, muscles, and different areas of the body.

One of the main reasons why individuals with diabetes need to exercise is because of the way your body responds to insulin when you exercise. Exercise helps to reduce your blood glucose levels, which can help you avoid using medication for diabetes.

Exercise is healthy for the body as it is a great way to reduce stress and tension. If you do not exercise and you continue to ignore some of the problems that arise like high blood pressure, you can severely damage your heart, arteries, and other organs and systems in the body. Exercise helps to manage high cholesterol and heart disease.

What type of exercise should I do?
Depending upon your age and your range of motion there are a number of different exercises you should consider. Some of the younger patients will not experience all of the pain that the elderly patient’s experience so heading out for a run or jog may not be a big deal. Elderly patients often suffer from arthritis in addition to diabetes. For this reason you should consider a leisurely stroll or head to a swim park and go swimming or enjoy a water aerobics class.

If you are out of shape, make sure you start slow and always stretch before and after exercising as this will improve your flexibility and reduce tension and stress on the joints. Make sure you are wearing good socks and make sure your feet are not rubbing against the shoes. If they rub too much, it can lead to blisters, bunions, and other problems that will leave you with an infection. Diabetes patients often suffer from nerve damage and if a wound is not properly treated and healed in a timely manner, it can force you to lose your foot.

When you are exercising, make sure you bring your medication or insulin injections with you. Just in case you have a rapid blood sugar drop, you need to get your blood sugar up in a hurry. Keep a nutritional shake with you as well so you can drink it in a hurry if you notice the shakes are starting to come: Ask your doctor for an ID badge in case you are worried about fainting.

Biking is a wonderful exercise for diabetes patients. It does not apply a lot of pressure on the feet which can become problem areas for a lot of people. Instead biking allows you to get in a good workout without worrying about blisters and infections.

How many times should I exercise each week?
Everyone needs at least 30 minutes of exercise each day. Whether your exercise routine involves climbing stairs, lifting weights, or swimming is up to you. Try to exercise at least 3 days a week if you cannot exercise daily. Make sure you are getting in at least 30-60 minutes of exercise 3 days a week. If you want to lose weight, increase your exercise routine to 60-90 minutes.

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


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