Physical Activity and Diabetes
Why is activity so important for people with diabetes?
Almost everyone, whether or not they have diabetes, benefits from regular exercise. Well-known health benefits include weight loss, stronger bones, improved blood pressure control, lower rates of heart disease and cancer as well as increased energy levels.
Regular exercise also has special advantages if you have type 2 diabetes. Regular physical activity improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps manage your blood glucose levels.
- If you have been inactive for some time, talk to your doctor before starting any exercise program that is more strenuous than brisk walking.
- Make sure you wear comfortable, proper-fitting shoes.
- Wear your MedicAlert® bracelet or necklace.
- Listen to your body. Speak to your doctor if you are very short of breath or have chest pain.
- If you take insulin or medications that increase insulin levels, monitor your blood glucose before, during and many hours after your activity to see how it affects your blood glucose levels.
- Carry some form of fast-acting carbohydrate with you in case you need to treat low blood glucose (hypoglycemia), for example, glucose tablets (preferred) or Life Savers®.