Exercise has many benefits, and for someone with diabetes regular exercise combined with a good diet can help control diabetes. Exercise not onlyburns calories, which can help with weight reduction, but it also can make oral diabetes medications and insulin more effective and can help control blood glucose levels.
Exercise also reduces some risk factors for heart disease. For example, a regular exercise program can lower blood fat and cholesterol levels and increase production of a HDL-cholesterol, the “good” cholesterol that protects against heart disease. This then decreases the risk of heart attack and stroke. A regular exercise program can also lower blood pressure and promote overall well-being.
On the other hand, infrequent or inadequate, strenuous exercise can strain muscles and the circulatory system and can increase the risk of a heart attack during exercise. A doctor can decide how much exercise is safe for an individual. The doctor will consider how well controlled a person’s diabetes is, the condition of the heart and circulatory system,and whether complications require that the person avoid certain types of activityWalking is great exercise, especially for an inactive person, and it’s easy to do. A person can start off walking for 15 or 20 minutes, three or four times a week, and gradually increase the speed or distance of the walks.
The purpose of a good exercise program is to find an enjoyable activity and doit regularly. Doing strenuous exercise for six months and then stopping isn’t as effective. People taking oral drugs or insulin need to remember that strenuous exercise can cause dangerously low blood glucose and they should carry a food or drink high in sugar for medical emergencies.
Signs of hypoglycemia include hunger, nervousness, shakiness, weakness, sweating, headache, and blurred vision. As a precaution, a person with diabetes should wear an identification bracelet or necklace to alert a stranger that the wearer has diabetes and may need special medical help in an emergency.
A doctor may advise someone with high blood pressure or other complications to avoid exercises that raise blood pressure. For example, lifting heavy objects and exercises that strain the upper body can end up raising blood pressure and hence increasing the risk of heart disease.
People with diabetes who have lost sensitivity in their feet also can enjoy exercise. They must, however, choose shoes carefully and check their feet regularly for breaks in skin that could lead to infection. Swimming or bicycling can be easier on the feet than running.
Exercise has many benefits;
- Burns calories
- Improves the body’s response to insulin
- Facilitates weight reduction
- Lower body fat and cholesterol
- Increases production of HDL
- Reduces risk factors for heart disease
- Can lower high blood pressure
- An exercise program should always be started slowly and with the advice of an expert doctor