Once their diabetes diagnosis comes through, a lot of people take it as a reason to sit activities out. With increased chances of hypoglycemia during working out and increased injury risks, one can understand their concerns. But if you are equipped with the right information, being diabetic is even more of a reason to start working out. Not to stop doing it.
The first order of business is to understand how diabetes and your fluctuating glucose levels can affect your activity, and vice versa. Only after this can we delve into problematic exercise practices, and symptoms to closely watch for. Taking the right approach towards exercise, that is supported by your expert doctor’s guidance can help you manage your diabetes effectively, and help you get fit in the process.
Exercise and Diabetes: How do they impact each other?
For those living with diabetes, activity-related hypoglycemia is a familiar experience. Changing activity levels, insulin and medicine dosage, and carbohydrate intake are factors that can affect the relationship between your activity and wellbeing.
According to the extensive study published in the Diabetes Journal, skipping out on taking your insulin injections on time, or gorging on carbohydrates before a work out can lead to hyperglycemia or high blood sugar. Extremely intense activities like sprinting, and heavy powerlifting can also lead to a spike in blood sugar, and hence should be interspersed with moderate level activities. Experts also suggest resistance training first and then follow up with moderate-intensity aerobic training.
Closely monitoring the blood ketones levels are also a great way to track hyperglycemia and prevent further complications. Most adults with diabetes are also prescribed medications to manage their condition and other associated illnesses. Certain medicines other than insulin may increase health risks and might have to be adjusted as well.
Since exercises can warm up your body, leading to more skin blood flow and sweating, there are also increased chances of heat-related problems. In some cases, the increased heat from exercise can even lead to dehydration and disruption in the electrolyte balance.
Those who have always been active will experience less exercise-related risks, even if they are diabetic. But those who are older, and have generally followed a sedentary lifestyle are at risk for injuries. This can be due to their weak joints, and poorer exercise form. Following a dedicated exercise plan, that gradually increases your exertion can help in preventing such injuries.
The Best Approach to Stay Healthy and Exercise Even With Diabetes
While there are a lot of factors to keep in mind when it comes to diabetes, exercise continues to be one of the best approaches for preventing and managing diabetes. But it is only effective when undertaken with the right precautions in place. If you have other complications like peripheral neuropathy, you will have to have a word with your doctor and figure out the proper foot care or prevent any problems. If you have any blood pressure related issues, and/or diabetic retinopathy, any vigorous activities that include jumping, inversion, or even breath-holding should be avoided.
Exercise doesn’t contribute to the furthering of kidney disease, and if you regularly stretch, a lot of joint damage and other orthopaedic problems. The only way diabetes-related nerve damage can happen is with poor blood glucose management. Once this problem arises, it can affect other systems in the body. In conditions that are as forgone as this, patients should talk to their healthcare team in length and figure out the right exercise plant.
Taking your current healthcare, risk factors, age and previous activity into account, your expert doctors can help you find the right strategies for working out. They can also help you with behaviour change strategies, and preventive care through digital health solutions, that can help you meet your work out and health goals.
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