Have you recently been diagnosed with diabetes? It’s a challenging illness to deal with and one that takes time to learn how to handle. The great news is that there is a lot of information available to help you learn how to manage issues and how to stay healthy even with a sickness that may demand your attention.
An important factor to living as a healthy diabetic is exercise. As much as the food that you need to eat and your insulin shots, exercise can help you to manage your diabetes, so that you can live a better and healthier lifestyle.
To help you live well, even with a diagnosis like diabetes, here are some of our top exercise tips that can help you manage your health better:
- Check with your doctor first of all. You may have some issues related to your diabetes that can make it dangerous to exercise, or at least do some exercises. Before rushing off to join a class or a gym, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider to be sure that you’re not going to be participating in something that is harmful for your specific health conditions.
- Carry starchy foods with you to keep your blood sugar in check. You need to be able to level out your blood sugar should the need arise, so if you want to be safe and not sorry, don’t hesitate to bring snacks with you to the gym or wherever you may exercise.
- If you’ve just started exercising again after a while without exercise, start off slowly. In fact, 10 minutes only the first few days is not a bad idea. You can of course, work up to more as your body gets used to the demands of exercising.
- Weight lifting is actually very helpful for controlling your blood sugar. As a diabetic, you’re going to need to stay on top of your blood sugar and using your body weight or weights to strength train can go far in helping you to control levels.
- Consider asking a friend (with or without diabetes) to join you for your workouts. This way, you can be sure to have a partner should trouble arise. As long as you’re taking care of yourself, you should be fine but it’s always nice to have someone there to help you if it should be necessary. If you can’t find someone to join you, make it obvious somewhere that you have diabetes, whether through a bracelet or tag or card stating that you have it. Should you have an episode, strangers or trainers could make sure to get you the right kind of help you need should you need it.
- Diabetes can affect your feet, due to poor blood flow or nerve damage caused by diabetes. You want to be sure to take care of yourself to avoid issues with your feet but you should also be wearing proper footwear. Make sure to wear the right kinds of shoes for the kinds of workouts that you’ll be doing.
- Don’t keep exercising or doing the sport you’re playing if you start to feel a lot of pain. Being tired or achy from working your body is different from actual pain from something to do with your diabetes. When in doubt, don’t.
- Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout your workout. Just like you should be watching your blood sugar levels, you don’t want to get dehydrated from exercise. It’s not good for anyone, but it’s especially not good for you.
- Make sure that you’re eating right. While blood sugar levels are important, providing your body with the right nutrients is equally as important for a diabetic. If you’re finding it hard to get enough protein in your diet, consider taking protein supplements (click here for some suggestions) or shakes so that you can stay on top of your protein intake to stay healthy, energetic, and active.
- Start a routine. A routine can help you to remember to do the little things that are important to your health as a diabetic. From your insulin to your snacks and your protein shakes, a daily routine can make it “easy for you to be good.”
Why Should You Exercise?
The above tips will help you to stay safe and healthy during your workout. You also want to make sure you understand the importance of exercising. If you haven’t been watching your health for a while now and as a diabetic you’ve been forced to, you may want to know why you should add exercise to your daily routine.
Here are some reasons to make sure that exercise is a part of our lifestyle:
- It help you burn fat. And, burning fat for a diabetic is very helpful, due to the fact that diabetics typically gain weight easily and it also helps with your blood sugar levels.
- It lowers your blood pressure and high blood pressure is a big no for diabetics.
- It improves blood flow in your body which is very helpful, especially because many issues caused by diabetes have to do with poor blood flow and circulation.
- It keeps your heart healthy, and a healthy heart is important for anyone, but especially those with diabetes.
- It’s good for your mood and what is good for your mood is good for you. It can be challenging to live with a sickness like diabetes, but exercise can help you to have the energy and focus to stay as healthy as possible, even through this type of illness.
- It’s important for your health. Anyone who works out regularly has stronger muscles and bones, which is a key part of having a healthy body.
- Stress is no good for a diabetic and if you happen to have a highly stressful lifestyle, exercise could be what the doctor ordered. Exercise is great for releasing endorphins and helping you to release tension from your day.
If you have diabetes, you may have to pay closer attention to your health. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as exercise is always a good idea. Getting more exercise after a diabetes diagnosis can help you to manage your health and stay away from complications that could arise from diabetes.
Whether you practice yoga, take dance classes, or enjoy cycling, rest assured that these are all helpful ways to keep bad side effects from diabetes at bay. It may take a little effort at first to make exercise an important part of your daily routine, but once you do, you’ll be happy you did. Talk to your doctor, set a schedule, and then keep on enjoying your life as healthy and as stress-free as possible.