Tips to be fit and healthy

Austin American-Statesman - - HEALTHYLIVING -

Re­mem­ber that a host of other prob­lems of­ten ac­com­pany di­a­betes. Be aware of them so you can mod­ify your ex­er­cise pro­gram as needed. You should con­sult with your physi­cian, but Dr. Elena Arizmendez gives these sug­ges­tions:

Coro­nary artery dis­ease: Nearly ev­ery­one who has di­a­betes has some el­e­ment of coro­nary dis­ease. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ex­er­cise; it just means you need to take pre­cau­tions. When start­ing a fit­ness pro­gram, don’t lift weights. Fo­cus on the lower ex­trem­i­ties, es­pe­cially the legs. Don’t ex­er­cise in a re­clined po­si­tion, which can put added stress on your heart. Be sen­si­ble when it comes to heat and sun ex­po­sure. Try walk­ing at an indoor shop­ping mall, or early in the morn­ing or late in the af­ter­noon.

Pe­riph­eral vas­cu­lar dis­ease: If you have this nar­row­ing of the large ar­ter­ies in the legs and arms, it might be painful to walk. Ex­er­cise is still good for you, but don’t put a heat­ing pad on sore mus­cles when you’re done. It can cause is­chemia, or re­stricted blood sup­ply. Tylenol is usu­ally safe; don’t take ibupro­fen (Advil) or Aleve, which can cause re­nal fail­ure.

Di­a­betic retinopa­thy: The frag­ile blood ves­sels in the retina can bleed or de­tach if you have di­a­betic retinopa­thy. Avoid high­im­pact ex­er­cises that can put you at risk for vi­sion loss.

Pe­riph­eral neu­ropa­thy: Pa­tients whose nerves are af­fected by this dis­or­der can’t al­ways feel if their feet are trau­ma­tized. Wear good shoes and cot­ton socks when you ex­er­cise. After­ward, look at your feet. If you see red ar­eas or bro­ken skin, get fit­ted with or­thotics and shoes that don’t rub. Oth­er­wise you risk limb loss.

Au­to­nomic dys­reg­u­la­tion: Peo­ple with this dis­or­der, which af­fects the in­vol­un­tary re­flex­ive ac­tiv­i­ties of the body, some­times feel light-headed. The con­di­tion is worse af­ter eat­ing, when the body fo­cuses on di­ges­tion. Don’t ex­er­cise im­me­di­ately af­ter meals.

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