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Diabetes, Exercise and Caregiving /
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Diabetes, Exercise and Caregiving
By Sean M. Kenny
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
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
Some items to address when designing a diabetic exercise
Avoid exercise if fasting glucose
levels are >250 mg/dl.
Be sure to check the blood sugar before, and after
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
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!