4 Dos And Don'ts When Exercising With Diabetes

4 Dos And Don'ts When Exercising With Diabetes

If you have diabetes, keeping an active lifestyle can improve your body’s sensitivity to insulin (the hormone that enables cells in your body to utilize blood sugar for energy). This in turn helps you to manage your symptoms. However, it’s important to keep in mind a few Dos and Don’ts when you exercise with diabetes.

Do: Check Your Blood Sugar Levels and Fuel Up when Necessary

It’s important to consult your doctor before starting any workout regimens to get their medical advice.

Should your workout last for over an hour, be sure to check your blood sugar levels periodically throughout. This way, you’ll be able to tell if you need a little refreshment as certain workouts could lower your blood sugar.

It may be handy to keep a carbohydrate snack with you when you’re working out, such as a sweet potato or fruit, just in case your blood sugar levels drop. 

Monitoring your sugar levels post-workout can also help you adjust the intensity and duration of your workout accordingly. If you have diabetes, you'll likely need a blood glucose meter to measure and display the amount of sugar (glucose) in your blood, and exercise is one of the activities that can trigger fluctuations in your sugar levels. Check out our OKRA starter kit which includes a Bluetooth blood glucose meter, lancets, test strips, and more.

Do: Incorporate Strength Training Into Your Workouts 

The American Diabetes Association recommends individuals who have type 2 diabetes start a strength training program, as it helps with blood sugar control.

You can incorporate resistance bands into your exercises or start weight lifting once a week. 

If heading to the gym and lifting weights isn’t your cup of tea, you can do at-home workouts like lunges, squats, or push-ups which train your muscles using your own body weight. 

Don’t: Overexert Yourself 

It’s common to have muscle aches after working out, however, if you feel sudden pains in your body, then this is a sign that your body is reacting negatively to the intense workouts you’ve been doing.

Always start slow when you’re a beginner, making sure to ramp up the intensity and duration of your workouts gradually rather than suddenly.

Don’t: Overstrain Your Joints 

If you have had diabetes for a while now, high-intensity exercises can strain your joints. This is because a process known as glycation could occur, where your blood sugar can start to build up in your joints over time.

Your joints may feel stiffer and more brittle, which is why intense workouts or those involving quick movements are discouraged. Instead, opt for slower but still effective workouts like yoga and Pilates to protect yourself from a potential injury. 

If you’ve been looking for ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle while living with diabetes, this is your sign to go for it!

Remember to proceed with care, and monitor your blood sugar levels regularly for optimal sessions. With OKRA’s subscription service, you never have to worry about running out of test strips again. Check out our refill kits that will last you 1-2 months depending on your personal usage.

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