Type 2 Diabetes and Exercise

In honor of American Diabetes Month, we’re continuing to share information about diabetes, prevention, and treatment options. Today, we’re talking about Type 2 Diabetes and how you can manage it with exercise! Exercise is a very important part of diabetes management to help control your blood sugar and weight! If you’re managing diabetes, Fresh ‘n Fit Cuisine’s chef prepared, gourmet meals are a great way to get delicious, sugar controlled, low glycemic meals that are ready to eat! No cooking or clean up! Save 10% on your first order with promo code BLOG10! http://www.freshnfitcuisine.com

Continue reading this Q & A from Nutrition411.org for more information!

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Can I exercise if my blood sugar is not under control?
Probably, but check with your doctor. The American Diabetes Association® says that you probably should avoid vigorous physical activity if ketosis is present (elevated ketones in the urine). However, previous recommendations to avoid exercise if blood sugars are >300 milligrams/deciliter are probably more cautious than needed for a person with type 2 diabetes, especially after a meal. Provided you feel well and drink enough water, your blood sugar alone is not a reason to avoid exercise.

If I take insulin, what precautions do I need to take with my exercise routine?
When you take insulin, physical activity can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) if your medication dose or carbohydrate intake is not changed. You should closely monitor your blood sugar level before and after exercise, and adjust your insulin, as needed, to maintain normal blood sugar. Your doctor may recommend a snack such as a Glucerna® bar or other foods with a mix of protein and carbohydrate before or after exercise. Make sure to talk to a registered dietitian or registered dietitian nutritionist about how you can fit exercise into your eating pattern.

What are the benefits of exercise?
Exercise has many benefits for everyone, including improved cardiovascular health and increased strength, flexibility, and endurance. Many people find that regular exercise helps reduce stress and provides a feeling of well-being. Exercise also helps speed weight loss, and exercise helps you maintain your weight if you have lost weight.

A recent study of those with type 2 diabetes showed that structured exercise programs had a beneficial effect on blood sugar control. This study also found that individuals with type 2 diabetes who already are exercising should increase the intensity of their exercise to get even more blood sugar control.

Do I need to check with my doctor before I begin exercising?
Absolutely. Your doctor knows your health history and what medicines you are taking. Even if your blood glucose levels usually are normal, the medications you take for other conditions can affect your health and ability to exercise. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a stress test before you start exercising, especially if you plan vigorous exercise, such as aerobics classes, running, or bicycling.

How much aerobic exercise should I do every day if I have diabetes?
Aerobic exercise is the type of exercise that gets your heart pumping enough so that you are mildly out of breath while performing the exercise. Examples of aerobic exercise include brisk walking, running, bicycling, water aerobics, swimming laps for exercise, and aerobic exercise classes.

To improve your blood sugar control, assist with weight maintenance, and reduce your risk of heart disease, you should plan for at least 150 minutes/week of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise and/or at least 90 minutes/week of vigorous physical activity. To get the most benefit, exercise at least 3 days every week and try not to go more than 2 days in a row without exercise. For long-term maintenance of major weight loss, more exercise sometimes is needed.

Individuals with type 2 diabetes who are exercising already may need to increase the intensity of their exercise to obtain more benefits.

Should I also lift weights?
Unless your doctor recommends against it, resistance exercise (weight lifting) three times a week targeting all major muscle groups is a good idea. Use weights heavy enough so that after three sets of 8 to 10 repetitions they are difficult to lift.

How do I know if exercise is causing low blood sugar?
Check your blood glucose levels before, immediately after, and several hours after exercise to make sure you are picking up any blood sugar changes resulting from exercise. If you tend to have low blood sugar during or after exercise, you can reduce medications or consume extra carbohydrates.


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