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Exercise: Physical activity is another important part of your diabetes management program. When you exercise, your muscles use sugar (glucose) for energy. Standard physical activity also improves your body’s response to insulin. Those factors work together to lower your blood sugar level. More strenuous your workout, the longer the effect lasts. But even light activities such as gardening, housework, or being on your feet for extended periods that can lower your blood sugar level.
What should to do:
• Talk to your doctor about an exercise plan: Ask your doctor about what type of exercise is appropriate for you. If you have been inactive for a long time, your doctor may want to check the condition of your heart and feet before advising you. He /she can recommend the right balance of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise.
• Keep an exercise schedule: Talk to your doctor about the best time of day for you to exercise so that your workout routine is coordinated with your meal and medication schedules.
• Know your numbers: Talk to your doctor about what blood sugar levels are appropriate for you before you begin exercise.
• Check your blood sugar level: Check your blood sugar level before, during and after exercise, especially if you take insulin or medications that lower blood sugar. Do be aware of warning signs of low blood sugar, such as feeling confused, lightheaded, irritable, anxious, shaky, weak, tired or hungry.
• Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water while exercising because dehydration can affect blood sugar levels.
• Be prepared: Always have a small snack or glucose pill with you during exercise in case your blood sugar drops too low. Wear a medical identification bracelet when you’re exercising.
• Adjust your diabetes treatment plan as needed: If you take insulin, you may need to adjust your insulin dose before exercising or wait a few hours to exercise after injecting insulin. Your doctor may advise you on appropriate changes in your medication. You need to adjust treatment if you’ve increased your exercise routine.
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