National Diabetes Awareness Month has just concluded, and hopefully you learned a lot about this disease that will help you or a loved one prevent it or function well with it. One of the most common topics is how important exercise can be to help manage the condition. It can sometimes be challenging to exercise with diabetes, however. You need to take precautions to keep yourself and your feet safe.
Type 2 diabetes is especially responsive to an exercise regime, but remember that your feet are more at risk of injury with this disease if you develop complications like neuropathy and poor circulation. That’s why low-impact fitness activities are safer. These include things like swimming, biking, walking, rowing, dancing, and tennis. These activities get your heart going, but you always have one foot on the ground so there is less stress on them.
It is a good idea to get a medical opinion before starting any new exercise, to make sure your heart and circulatory system are up to the task. Once you are cleared for action, don’t just jump right in—start modestly. A quiet walk around the block or 10 minutes at a moderate pace on the treadmill or elliptical are good ways to begin. After a week or so, gradually increase the duration and intensity of your activity.
Keep the following hints in mind, too:
- Exercise about one hour after eating, when your glucose level may be a bit higher. Check it before and after activity, so you understand how your body reacts.
- Stop and test again if you feel strange during activity. Keep a carbohydrate snack nearby—the right amount to properly raise your sugar level.
- Know your target heart rate and how much large muscle activity you need to get there.
- Wear ID stating you are diabetic and, preferably, have someone with you who can help out if you become disoriented.
At Abbot Foot & Ankle Clinic, we can give you many more suggestions to safely exercise with diabetes. We can also provide excellent care for any foot problems that crop up. Give our Collingwood, ON, office a call today at (705) 444-9929 and let us help you stay active!
Image by tpsdave on pixabay.com