News ID: 230742
Published: 0753 GMT September 03, 2018

Diabetes: Three exercise tips to help manage the blood sugar condition

Diabetes: Three exercise tips to help manage the blood sugar condition

A common myth of diabetes is that sufferers of the blood sugar condition shouldn’t play sport or be too active. However, medical professionals actually recommend keeping active in order to help manage the condition. Here are some tips on how diabetes sufferers can keep active.

As well as helping to manage diabetes, exercising can also reduce the chance of getting Type 2 diabetes, wrote.

Being active increases the amount of glucose used by the muscles for energy, so can lower the amount of glucose in the blood. It also helps the body to use insulin more efficiently and therefore help reduce the amount of insulin you have to take.

Here are three important tips to bear in mind when taking up exercise:


Start slow


If you don’t already exercise regularly, Diabetes UK recommends starting with something gentle, like walking, and gradually working your way up to 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise.

It’s not necessary to do 30 minutes in one go, you could start with a 10 minute brisk walk and build up from there, but you should exercise five times a week.

Doing a little bit more each time will make a difference and give your body time to adapt as your muscles strengthen.

The UK Department of Health recommends adults between the ages of 19 and 64 do 2.5 hours a week of moderate to vigorous intensity physical activity, which can be spread out into bitesize chunks.


Check your blood sugar levels


Physical activity can affect your blood sugar level both during and after exercise, and you should regularly check your blood sugar level to understand how it is affected, advises Diabetes UK.

If your blood sugar level is above 13 millimoles per liter, you should be careful as activity can raise it higher.

If this happens, it is probably because you don’t have enough insulin so you may want to think about giving yourself a correction dose of insulin.


At the other end of the scale, if your blood sugar level is below seveb millimoles per liter before you exercise, have some extra carbohydrate.


Make small lifestyle changes


You can also make small changes to your lifestyle, like walking instead of driving for short trips, or getting off the bus or train one stop earlier.

In addition, take the stairs instead of the lift or escalator, and go for a walk during your lunch break.

“10 minutes of brisk walking every day can make a big difference to your health,” said Diabetes UK.

Once you are fitter and exercising regularly, vary your routine by swapping cycling on an exercise bike for cycling outdoors, or trying a new class at the gym.

However, if you are starting a new activity you should check with your healthcare team to see how this will affect your diabetes.

“Although your body benefits as soon as you become more active, you may not see all the benefits straight away as it can time for your body to adapt to the activity. So stick with it and you’ll soon see the positive results,” said Diabetes UK.

“Everyone's different, and the way activity affects your blood glucose levels is very individual. So when you're starting out, talk to your diabetes healthcare team. They'll give you individual advice.”

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