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Diabetes, Exercise and Caregiving

By Sean M. Kenny
(Page 2 of 2)

Unlike cardiovascular exercise, weight training should only be done every other day. You may also want to keep a high carbohydrate food handy or some fruit juice available during lifting to keep blood sugar up.

Finish off each exercise session with some light stretching exercises. These can also add in enhancing circulation. It is also a great way to cool-down after exercise

Some items to address when designing a diabetic exercise program

Avoid exercise if fasting glucose levels are >250 mg/dl.

Be sure to check the blood sugar before, and after exercise, regularly.

Consider checking it one hour before, as well as immediately before (did he mean before or after here?) exercise, so you can tell which way your sugar is heading. Usually, people with four injections a day are taking Regular or Lispro insulin (Humalog®) before meals as part of their program. The ADA suggests that people on pre-meal Regular (or lispro) decrease the dose of Regular (or lispro) at the meal before the exercise by one-half. Sometimes the dose of Regular (or lispro) at the following meal also needs to be decreased (depending on the blood sugar level at that time).

Use the abdomen or buttocks (rather than an extremity that you’ll be using during the exercise) for your shot before exercise.

If your exercise will occur a long time after a meal, be sure to have a snack that’s high in carbohydrates before starting the exercise. Ingest added carbohydrates if glucose levels are less than 100 mg/dl.

Carry some carbohydrate food with you while exercising, in case you feel like you’re starting to “crash”.

Though it may not be realistic for most people, it’s best if you can exercise at the same time every day.

When caring for diabetics, realize that they can lead full and active lives with a few modifications. In fact, many people with diabetes have competed at the professional level of sports. The benefits of exercise are many. With a little attention to detail, these benefits can belong to all of us!


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