Before initiating an exercise program, contact your doctor to make sure that the selected exercise is safe and appropriate for your type of diabetes. Do not forget to start slowly, especially if for some time you have not been physically active.
Here are some other safety tips:
- Check blood glucose before and after exercise until you know how your body responds to exercise.
- Whether you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, before exercising, check that your blood glucose is below 250 mg/dl. For people with type 1 diabetes, exercise with a blood glucose level above 250 mg/dl can result to ketoacidosis, which can be life-threatening due to deficiency of insulin in the blood.
- Engage in a five minutes warm-up before and five minutes cool down after exercise.
- Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise to avoid dehydration.
- Be prepared for any episode of hypoglycemia. Have something to bring about a level of sugar, such as hard candy, glucose tablets or 4 oz. juice.
- Put on a medical alert ID band. In case of emergency, EMS will know how to treat you properly.
- You always have a mobile phone. Avoid exercise in extremely hot or cold weather.
- Wear suitable shoes and socks to protect your feet.
Listen to your body. In case you miss breath, dizziness or lightheaded, stop exercising. Report any problem to your health professionals.