The benefits of exercising are enormous. When it comes to diabetes, exercise has to be a central part of diabetes treatment plan. Exercise provides a wide variety of physical, mental and social benefits. A sneak-peak of benefits related to exercise in diabetes are; improved blood sugar control, reduced risk of heart attack, low blood pressure and reduced need for insulin or pills to control the blood glucose.
Due to following an exercise plan, diabetic feels stronger and healthier, look and feel better, have less stress and feel much better about him. Following questions must be asked by the diabetic from himself before starting any fitness plan.
- What activities does he like?
- Does he prefer to exercise alone or with other people?
- Does he like challenging sports?
- What options / facilities does he have?
- Where exercising will be appropriate and beneficial for him?
- How intense an exercise program should be?
Always choose those activities which you enjoy the most. He is all done with the planning; he has selected an activity he thinks encourage him to practice. Now what? Getting started is one of the difficult parts of exercising. Sticking with it is another. Many diabetics have lots of excuses and reasons for not exercising regularly. I am short at time; I cannot find time such reasons which stop diabetics to execute their plans. And off course exercise does take time. Clear this obstacle first. Make an appointment with yourself about exercising. If you are extremely busy or having a tight work schedule. You might try exercising while you watch T.V or read a book or newspapers.
I am too old and out of shape. This excuse also has an appeal for rational. Recent studies show that it is never late to start exercising. People in their 80s and even in 90s show great improvements in mobility, strength and endurance, when they participate in regular exercise. Exercising fetches pain. It depends, if a diabetic do it right the exercise would not hurt him. There are chances that he may get winded and his muscles may stiffen up a bit. These all are parts of exercising. Exercise is full of boredom. It is boring. For some diabetics it is a real problem. To solve this riddle of mind, try to combine exercise with things you like. For example walking in a pretty place or watching a good movie on your gadget while doing aerobics. Another effective way to kill boredom is cross-train technical. Diabetics should vary their exercise routine. For example if walking is their main activity, consider an occasional swim, a bike ride or some other activity which suits their appetite. It will not only cut their boredom, it also gives them a more balanced workout and reduces their risk of injuries.
Last thing which is great hurdle for any diabetic for starting his exercise plan is about motivation. Diabetics just cannot maintain their motivation. It can be easily handled if they are doing an activity they like or love. There are several ways to avoid this dilemma. First set goals. Write an exercise contract with yourself. Like for example a simple contract may look like this;
• Exercise goal for week 1
Activity: walking 1 complete track in 30 mints
• Exercise goal for week 2
Activity: Walking 1½ track in 35 mints
• Exercise goal for week 3
Activity: Walking 2 complete tracks in 30 mints
Be good to yourself. Give yourself small rewards for your hard work and accomplishment.
- Eat a meal 1-3 hours before exercise.
- Increase food intake for up to 24 hours after exercise, depending upon the intensity and duration of exercise.
- Take insulin at least 1 hr before exercise. If less than 1 hour before exercise, inject in a nonexercising area.
- Decrease insulin dose before exercise.
- Alter daily insulin schedule.
- Monitor blood glucose before, during and after exercise.
- Delay exercise if blood glucose is over 250 mg/dl and ketones are present.
- Learn individual glucose responses to different types of exercises.
Following tips are beneficial for avoiding hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia with exercise: