Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity

Be­ing ac­tive is one of the best ways to lower your glu­cose lev­els

Diabetes Care Guide (English) - - CON­TENTS -

Reg­u­lar ex­er­cise is the most im­por­tant life­style de­ci­sion we can make – every­one ben­e­fits. For peo­ple with di­a­betes it is es­pe­cially im­por­tant. It’s a low-cost, low-risk way to fight vas­cu­lar dis­ease, reg­u­late blood sug­ars, re­duce the risk of high blood pres­sure and boost your well-be­ing.

Ex­er­cise helps to keep your choles­terol lev­els in check and your bow­els in top shape, and you may even lose a few pounds in the process. Our in­creas­ingly seden­tary life­styles – driv­ing to work, to school, to the gro­cery store, spend­ing more time at the com­puter and watch­ing TV – have made it even more im­por­tant to in­clude daily phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity in our lives.

If you are cur­rently ac­tive, congratulations! You are tak­ing the right steps to min­i­mize the im­pact of di­a­betes on your qual­ity of life. If you are not that ac­tive, th­ese tips will help and en­cour­age you to get started.

Do I need a stress test?

Hav­ing a stress test be­fore

start­ing may be another nec­es­sary step if you have symp­toms sug­ges­tive of heart dis­ease, such as short­ness of breath or chest dis­com­fort, or if you have been pre­vi­ously seden­tary, at high risk for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, and now wish to un­der­take a vig­or­ous ex­er­cise pro­gram.

In­for­ma­tion from this test will be help­ful in as­sess­ing your heart health and es­tab­lish­ing a safe train­ing heart rate.

Learn how your blood sug­ars re­spond to ex­er­cise

This is very im­por­tant. By tak­ing your blood glu­cose read­ing im­me­di­ately be­fore and af­ter ex­er­cis­ing, you will know whether it is safe to be­gin ex­er­cise for that day, and how many points your read­ing drops dur­ing and af­ter ex­er­cise.

Be­fore ex­er­cise, check your blood glu­cose level. If it is 5.5 mmol/L or less, eat 15-30 grams of a fast-act­ing sugar, such as a dex­trose tablet or a hard candy (not sugar free), and re-check your blood sugar read­ing in 15 min­utes. Af­ter ex­er­cise, if your read­ing is less than 5 mmol/L, eat a light snack, es­pe­cially if you must drive. Re­mem­ber “5 to Drive”.

Another read­ing to note is be­fore break­fast: 16.7 mmol/L or higher is too high to be­gin ex­er­cise. While a slow walk may help burn ex­tra sug­ars, mod­er­ate to vig­or­ous ex­er­cise may cause prob­lems, so post­pone ex­er­cise un­til your sug­ars are back un­der con­trol.

En­sure proper hy­dra­tion and mon­i­tor for signs and symp­toms of hy­per­glycemia (e.g. in­creased thirst, nau­sea, se­vere fa­tigue, blurred vi­sion or headache), es­pe­cially if ex­er­cis­ing in the heat.

How do I get started?

Take time to think about what ac­tiv­i­ties you en­joy. If you don’t like rid­ing sta­tion­ary bi­cy­cles, then don’t. Find what you do like. The only con­sid­er­a­tion is to keep im­pact ex­er­cises to a min­i­mum if you have any foot com­pli­ca­tions, such as neu­ropa­thy.

Look for op­por­tu­ni­ties to in­crease your ac­tiv­ity through­out the day. Aim for 150 min­utes of mod­er­ate aer­o­bic ac­tiv­ity such as brisk walk­ing, danc­ing or bik­ing per week. Spread it out over at least three non-con­sec­u­tive days of the week with no more than two con­sec­u­tive days in be­tween.

Set a re­al­is­tic goal. Start with just 10 min­utes of an ac­tiv­ity like walk­ing four days a week. As you be­come fit you can in­crease to 30 min­utes for five days a week. (Check out our sam­ple walk­ing pro­gram on the next page).

En­rol in a group ex­er­cise class. It‘s a good way of not only get­ting your body in shape but also get­ting out and meet­ing peo­ple.

Add some re­sis­tance train­ing. Re­search has shown that mov­ing a weight with your mus­cles, known com­monly as re­sis­tance train­ing, is ben­e­fi­cial when you have di­a­betes.

How hard should I be work­ing?

A very sim­ple yet ef­fec­tive way to tell if you’re over­do­ing it is the Talk Test. If dur­ing ex­er­cise you are breath­ing so heav­ily that you can’t talk you are push­ing your body too much.

Another com­mon way of mea­sur­ing how hard you are work­ing is to use your heart rate as an in­di­ca­tor. Every­one has a dif­fer­ent max­i­mum heart rate but a good over­all av­er­age has been cal­cu­lated at 220 beats per minute.

Don’t for­get

● Phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity can af­fect your blood glu­cose for up to 12 hours. When get­ting started, check your blood glu­cose just be­fore and right af­ter your ac­tiv­ity, as well as sev­eral hours af­ter your ac­tiv­ity stops. It is a great way to see the ben­e­fit of

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