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Exercise Precautions for Diabetics

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
Jan 21, 2012
4.8 / 5(4 Ratings)

Although, Exercising is beneficial for diabetic in numerous ways, but it is important to note that exercise programs, if undertaken without necessary precautions, imply certain risks. There are several possible risks that may be related to the retinal, cardiovascular or to other muscle systems, but the most important risk is hypoglycaemia or low blood sugar.


These risks, however, can be overcome quite easily with certain precautions. Necessary precautions need to be taken before, during and after the exercises in order to ensure full safety and maximum effectiveness.

  • To begin with, it would be advisable for the diabetic individual to go to a doctor and undergo a thorough examination before exercising.
  • At the very least, it is absolutely essential for such a person to take a measurement of his or her blood sugar level. It is extremely important to monitor the blood sugar level before and after the exercise program. This is to preclude the possibility of lapsing into hypoglycaemia, since exercise makes the blood sugar drop quickly. If the exact amount or magnitude of the drop is gauged then this effect can be countered by adjusting the amount of insulin taken or eating a meal before beginning the exercise.
  • In order to prevent any retinal problems from arising, it would be necessary to ensure that the diabetic individual does not lift heavy weights or do certain risky exercises (such as a decline bench press, where the head is below the heart level).
  • It is best for the diabetic individual to exercise in a standing position, breathing freely and taking enough liquids to prevent dehydration. Usually forty to sixty minutes is a sufficient amount of time for exercising, with necessary breaks between exercises and before eventually cooling down and stretching.
  • The intensity of the exercises is an important question to grapple with for the diabetic individual, and as it cannot be uniform, it is possible to survey a wide variety of possibilities. However, usually walking is a recommended exercise that is neither too stressful nor inadequate.
  • Even using stairs and increasing physical activity during the day can prove beneficial for the individual, but for those interested in a more rigorous exercise regime, it would be advisable to build the momentum or intensity slowly and gradually. Symptoms that may accompany certain attempts at more intense exercises, such as breathlessness, drowsiness, headache, dizziness or any feeling of discomfort all indicate the inappropriateness of such levels of intensity.
  • Another extremely important precaution to take for every diabetic patient is to ensure proper foot protection. Open sores can lead to several complications and lead to infections, therefore, proper footwear is absolutely essential.

 

Read more articles on Understand Diabetes


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