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Exercise Tips for Diabetics

By Sara Butler

You’ve likely heard it before, but it’s worth repeating: Exercise is a very important factor to a healthy lifestyle. This is especially true for those who suffer from diabetes since exercise helps to rid your body of some of the excess sugar in your blood by using it to fuel your muscles during a workout. In other words, exercise is a natural way to reduce your blood sugar. Here are a few exercise tips to help you get on the fitness wagon if you’re diabetic.

Check Your Blood Sugar

It’s important to consider your blood sugar levels before and after exercise. Low blood sugar before your workout can be a bad thing. If it’s low, try to have a snack such as an orange, an apple, or a slice of bread, wait 15 minutes, and then test again. If the results come back in the acceptable range, then you’re good to go.

If your blood sugar is too high before exercise, then focus on a snack high in protein about an hour before you get started. This will help you feel better as you’re working out.

Pay Attention to Your Body

Many diabetics take medication to help them lower their blood sugar. This can result in times where weakness or fatigue set in and you feel like doing anything but exercise. This feeling may mean your blood sugar is too low, so check your levels before you do anything else to make sure it’s in the normal range. Often when you experience symptoms such as those, it’s your body trying to tell you something. Listen to it!

Refuel After Exercise

One of the most important things to remember when you work out as a diabetic is to make sure to refuel after you’re done with exercise. This will help you to prevent a dangerous drop in your blood sugar. It’s also a way to replenish the fuel your muscles just used to exercise! For every half-hour of exercise you do, try to eat between 15 and 20 grams of carbohydrates. If your blood sugar is a bit high before exercise, make sure to focus on protein when you’re done.

Drink Plenty of Water

It’s important for everyone to get enough water when they exercise, but it’s especially important for diabetics. Water helps to dilute the blood and move waste through your body via the kidneys. Aim for 75 to 100 extra ounces of water beyond the normal recommendations!

You can be healthy with diabetes, you simply must remember to care for yourself the best you can by giving your body what it needs!

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Northbrook, Ill. 


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