Check with your doctor before you begin, particularly if you are overweight or have a history of heart disease, diabetic neuropathy or peripheral vascular disease.

Current recommendations include a complete physical and, for people over 35 or who’ve had diabetes for more than 10 years, an exercise stress test.  The results will determine the safest way for you to increase physical activity.

Spread your activity over the week.  The US Dept of Health and Human Services urges adults to aim for a weekly total of at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous activity, or a mix of the two.

Choose your exercise time wisely.  The best time to exercise is one to three hours after eating, when blood sugar levels are likely to be higher.

If you use insulin, you must test your blood sugar before exercising.  If it is below 100mg/dL, have a piece of fruit, or have a small snack to boost it so you avoid hypoglycemia.

Test again 30 minutes later to see of blood sugar levels are stable.

Check your blood sugar after a particularly vigorous workout.

If you use insulin, your risk of developing hypoglycemia may be highest 6 to 12 hours after working out.

Experts caution against exercising if your blood sugar is too high—over 250.

Be prepared for a medical problem.  If you experience a medical problem while exercising—or at any time—it’s important that people who care for you know that you have diabetes.

An easy way to do that is to wear a bracelet, watch or other jewelry item or accessory that indicates you have diabetes and whether or not you take insulin.

Also keep glucose tablets or hard candy with you while exercising in case your blood sugar suddenly drops.

Source:  Harvard Medical School Healthbeat, November 17, 2012



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