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November 3, 2020

Plan Your Diabetes Safe Exercise Routine

Create the Right Exercise Routine Exercise–everyone knows how vital it is to your health and well-being. But why is it so difficult to make regular exercise a habit? Let’s talk about creating a diabetes-friendly exercise routine that can become a…

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Home / Living with Diabetes / Plan Your Diabetes Safe Exercise Routine

planning-diabetes-friendly-exercise

Create the Right Exercise Routine

Exercise–everyone knows how vital it is to your health and well-being. But why is it so difficult to make regular exercise a habit? Let’s talk about creating a diabetes-friendly exercise routine that can become a part of your day-to-day lifestyle. The key is the make part of your daily plan.

Well it may sound a bit cliché, but it’s actually all in the mind; the way we look at any given thing can make or break our most ambitious of plans. To create your daily exercise routine you’re going to need to find the time and place that works best with your lifestyle. Do you like solo activities? Walking or running may be the perfect exercise routine for you. Prefer to be around people? Join a gym or aerobics class to get that social interaction you crave.

Now let’s talk about the types of exercise that you can incorporate into your diabetes-friendly exercise routine.

Diabetes-Friendly Exercise

Creating Your Exercise Plan by Mixing it Up!

There has always been a debate about what is more beneficial, cardio or weight training?  The short answer: both! Each provide different aspects for your health, strength, and endurance so a varied approach is optimal. Studies have shown that normally sedentary people with type 2 diabetes who engaged in a mixture of aerobic (cardio) and resistance training (weight lifting) tended to have lower blood sugar levels after 9 months versus those that only focused on one type of training over the same time period.

Include Resistance Training (Weight Lifting) in Your Exercise Routine

Weight Training

While cardio workouts strengthen the heart muscle and all its supportive tissues and organs, strength training–or weight lifting–builds the muscles you utilize during the act of lifting.  Building the strength of your muscles will utilize sugar in the form of glucose more efficiently, which can lead to improved blood sugar control and lowered insulin resistance.  Also, resistance training has been known to control high blood sugars by increasing your metabolic rate for days after the workout! Even while you sleep your body is still reaping the benefits of strength training.

So while you don’t need to reach fitness model levels of fitness, consistency and moderation can improve strength and blood sugar over time.  Be mindful of your form while lifting weights as improper techniques can lead to serious injuries.  If you are just starting out,  start slow with light weights to develop proper posture while executing your lifts.  Visit your local gym for classes, or even see a personal trainer to learn how to perform basic moves and work out efficiently with weights.

Cardio Training

Adding Aerobic Training (Cardio) to Your Exercise Plan

There are so many ways to get a great cardio workout. Dancing, swimming, step aerobics–any of these activities will improve your cardiovascular function. Even walking can get your heart-rate up to 60-80% of your maximum heart-rate! A higher heart rate will usually “work-up a sweat” and allow you to reap the benefits of a stronger cardiovascular system.  Always consult your healthcare service provider to determine a safe heart-rate zone, since endurance levels can vary greatly from person-to-person based on their medical history.  A general rule of thumb is to estimate your target heart rate at 220 minus your current age.  Don’t feel the need to join a gym either. Many activities done at home can get your heart-rate going.  Things like walking the dog, taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and parking at the far end of the lot can help promote physical activity throughout the day.

So now you’ve got the details you need to create a diabetes-friendly exercise routine! For more tips on staying active at work, we recommend reading this article. Remember, exercise is a necessity so create an exercise routine that works for you and stick with it!

Incorporate Glucose Levels Checks Into Your Exercise Routine

While maintaining your custom fitness regimen, don’t forget to frequently keep your eye on your blood glucose levels. Remember that beginning an exercise routine can cause hypoglycemia. Per the Mayo Clinic, “If you’re taking insulin or other medications that can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), test your blood sugar 15 to 30 minutes before exercising.”  Sometimes adjusting with more frequent snacking and dosage in medication is necessary to compensate for the added energy consumption throughout your day.  Always play it safe, stay healthy!

Learn more about US MED’s glucose meters and diabetes testing supplies here.

 

 

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