Exercise plays an important role in facilitating a good control in Diabetes. Regular exercise should be an integral part of the daily routine of Diabetic.
What does exercise benefit a diabetic with?
1. Exercise acts by using up the blood glucose for energy and making the body cells sensitive to insulin.
2. Altogether, we can say that exercise keep the blood sugar levels under control.
3. Exercise and reduced food intake together help in reduction of body weight.
4. Regular exercise also helps to cut down the dose of anti-diabetic drugs.
5. Exercise increases muscle mass which further increases glucose utilization.
6. It decreases stress and strain and improves the quality of life.
7. The dis managed lipid profile can also be improved by regular exercise.
What’s the prescribed exercise plan?
Persons with diabetes should exercise regularly. This can include brisk walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, playing badminton or tennis.
- It is recommended that diabetics should do exercise of moderate intensity for a minimum period of 150 minutes a week, which means at least 30 minutes a day or five days a week.
- The pace and duration of exercise, however, can be decided depending on the age and physical fitness of the subject.
- Avoid exercise if blood sugar level is very high i.e. above 250 mg/dl or very low. Also, avoid in case of infections.
- Wear well-fitted shoes while exercising to protect the feet from injury.
- Before engaging in heavy exercise, those on insulin injections should consult their doctor. They may require extra carbohydrates before, during or after exercise.
- Practicing yoga also helps to relieve from stress.
Avoiding complications while exercising
- Stop exercise if symptoms of hypoglycemia i.e. low blood sugar level occur
- Check blood glucose both before and after exercise
- Eat a snack of 15-30 gm of quickly absorbed carbohydrate prior to exercise depending on pre-exercise blood glucose levels
- Always have water and snack handy during exercise
- Exercise with a friend whenever possible
- Avoid exercise if feeling ill.
Which exercise is the best?
The best exercise is the one that your patient will stick to. Walking is considered one of the best choices because it is easy, safe and cheap. Brisk walking can burn as many calories as running, but is less likely than running or jogging to cause injuries. And it doesn’t require training or special equipment, except good shoes. Walking is an aerobic and weight bearing exercise. So it is good for the heart and prevents osteoporosis too.
The final word
Although it would be ideal to have the individual with diabetes to exercise daily, it is important to remember that even some exercise is better than none. In those subjects with physical limitations and diabetes complications, exercise has to be modified and tailor made.