Diabetes and Exercise

It’s amazing how we are never too busy to help others. So why is it so difficult to stop long enough to help ourselves? There are so many women who suffer from type 2 Diabetes; more are affected than we will ever know. When was the last time you took the initiative to ask your health care provider to check your A1c to see if you are either diabetic or pre-diabetic? The unfortunate fact is that pre-diabetes shows no symptoms; therefore, by the time one becomes full blown diabetic, it is a possibility that the eye sight is fading, the kidney function is affected, or worse…one falls into a diabetic coma.

Ladies, if you find that you are diabetic or pre-diabetic, physical activity and maintaining a healthy BMI (body mass index), meaning….body fat based on height as compared to weight, can help prevent diabetes and the problems that go along with the disease. Having a healthy exercise regimen also helps the hormone insulin absorb glucose into the body’s cells in a healthy amount. Muscles process glucose better than fat does. Building and using muscles through physical activity can help prevent the glucose level from becoming too high. Ladies don’t be discouraged if your weight is extremely high. Just a 10 to 15 pound weight loss can make a huge difference in reducing the risk of becoming diabetic along with the side effects.

Exercise is a definite to-do list item if you have diabetes or have a high enough A1c score (the number used to determine if one has diabetes). If you don’t know where to start, start with these few tips:

  • Be creative. Going to the gym is not the only option when it comes to physical fitness. Think of some things that you’ve always wanted to try like line dance or taking swim lessons.
  • Carry carbs. When you are working out, always keep a small carbohydrate snack like fruit or a fruit drink so that in the event your blood sugar gets low, you can pop a snack in your mouth conveniently.
  • Weight train at least twice a week. Weight training doesn’t necessarily mean using a physical weight. Using body weight is just as effective. Doing push-ups, lunges, and squats can improve blood sugar also.
  • Hydrate. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercising.
  • Pamper your feet. Invest in a good pair of athletic shoes that are the right type for your activity. For example, don’t jog in a high top basketball shoe. Different physical activities calls for different shoe support needs. Check and clean your feet daily and let your doctor know if you notice any new foot problems.
  • Get doctor’s thumbs up. Talk to your health care provider and let them know that you want to start being more physically fit. If you are living with diabetes, they’ll check to see if you need to change your meals, insulin or diabetes medicine as well as other important information.

When you do physical activity, your body needs extra energy from glucose. When you do something quickly, like run for the bus, your muscles release glucose for fuel. The most effective thing, however, is when you do moderate exercise for a longer time. For example if you take a long walk or hike, your muscles take up much more glucose, thus helping to lower your blood sugar levels. So, busy ladies…on your marks, get set, BEAT DIABETES!