Approximately 29 million people in the United States have diabetes. If you or a loved one has this unfortunate disease, you should understand the best ways to manage it. By taking medications as directed, regular exercise, and monitoring your blood glucose levels, you can gain experience and confidence in keeping diabetes under control. Take a little bit of time to learn about how to start an exercise routine with diabetes and other ways to manage it.
Get Your Doctor’s Okay First
If you are just thinking about starting to exercise with diabetes, it’s important to talk to your doctor about it first. Since exercising helps to lower blood glucose levels, it might be necessary for your doctor to put you on a lower dose of your insulin or other diabetes medication. Your doctor can also give you the best advice on how to begin exercising based on your medical history.
Monitor Blood Glucose Levels
It’s absolutely necessary to check your blood glucose levels before and after exercising. You should have a quality meter, such as a glucose meter by Dexcom, on hand to help you determine your levels. If your blood sugar is below 100 before you begin an exercise, it’s important to consume a snack with at least 15 grams of carbohydrates to make sure your blood sugar levels reach an ideal level before working out. Wait at least 15 minutes after eating a snack to check your blood glucose levels again. Keep a snack on hand while you’re working out in case you feel your blood sugar dropping too much.
If you’re not used to regular exercise, it helps you to go slow at first. It is recommended to exercise at least 30 minutes per day, but you can work your way up to that. Try working out for 10 minutes at a time first and gradually increase the time you spend working out.
Make Exercise Routine
The best way to manage your diabetes is with a regular exercise routine. If you’re a busy person with not a lot of time, break up the time you spend exercising. Instead of working out for 30 minutes at once, try exercising some in the morning, more midday, and the rest of your workout can be done at night. Find a routine that works for you and try to stick with it.
Additional Tips for Managing Diabetes
Exercise isn’t the only way to manage diabetes. It’s important to take your medication as directed by your doctor to ensure your blood glucose levels stay within a healthy range. Other diabetes management tips include
- Quitting smoking
- Keeping a food diary
- Only consuming alcohol in moderation
- Taking proper care of your feet
- Make healthy food choices
Managing your diabetes properly can increase your energy and allow your body to heal better. Proper management also reduces your chance of serious health problems including heart attack, eye problems, and kidney problems.
Always take your diabetes seriously, no matter how bad you have it. Diabetes is a serious condition and individuals who have it should be vigilant in managing the disease. Making healthy food choices, maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising daily can help keep the disease under control and reduce the risk of serious health complications in the future. If you are struggling with keeping your blood glucose levels under control, consult with your doctor because you may need your medication adjusted.