Saturday, 19 August 2006

Diabetes and Exercise

Diabetes should not hold you back from doing anything you love or anything thats good for you for that matter. I may sound like a sports teacher here, but getting regular exercise is really important for keeping your body healthy especially as a diabetic.

When I started going running or power walking every morning I noticed a huge difference in my levels, they were lower and much more stable. I now go power walking every other morning and feel so much better and fitter.

Getting regular exercise is really important as a diabetic because it helps to keep your levels stable and your body healthy. One of the big traps of being diabetic is you thinking that it inhibits you, that you can't do exercise. So here are a few tips to help you think otherwise:

- One of the problems of doing exercise is knowing that by doing this exercise you lower you levels too much. Well the really easy thing to do here is to make sure that you eat something that will counteract this. So for example, if I plan on doing some running for 45 minutes and my level is between 8mmol and 12mmol I will eat a banana. If my level is 6mmol to 8mmol I will eat a snack bar or some raisins or some toast. If my level is above 12mmol I will eat nothing but drink loads of water.

- The exceptions to taking exercise should be if your level is below 6mmol (or what you consider close to low) then wait half an hour at least after having something to eat to wait for your level to go back up. Also if your levels are above 15mmol or what you consider too high, having exercise will only make your level go higher, so have some insulin and wait for it to go lower.

- The post exercise low - 2-5 hours later! This can come as a surprise to some people because they are not prepared for it or not aware. But generally once you have been exercising, especially if it is quite vigorous, your level may drop in the next half of the day. In following this rule, it is important to try and keep your exercise to the beginning half of the day so you can watch your levels closely before going to sleep. Perhaps the best way is to not exercise vigorously after 4pm. However going for a gentle walk is the best exercise in the evening as it will gently regulate your blood sugar levels.

- Wear a med tag if exercising alone (well you should always carry one with you, but it is especially important when exercising, as there is a greater risk of going low.) and always takea large bottle of water and dextrose tablets like lucozade. Again it should be important for you to have these with you at all times, but it is especially important when exercising.

- The best exercises that I find regulate my levels are cardiovascular, like running, power walking and swimming. Things that raise your pulse and get your heart pumping.

Diabetes and Exercise