Diabetes Exercise Mistakes to Avoid
Staying healthy is a top priority for many right now. The American Diabetes Association is unsure if people with diabetes are at a greater risk of catching coronavirus, but there’s no denying they have a greater risk of complications if they do get an infection. Try to not let that discourage you, however, and instead use it as a push to take better care of your condition.
Exercising is an effective way to manage diabetes and blood sugar, but diabetics should keep the following five diabetes exercise mistakes in mind when working out. Diabetes requires a unique approach to exercise.
1. Not Testing Blood Sugar Before Exercising
It’s vital that you know your blood sugar level before exercising. The American Council on Exercise recommends you avoid working out if blood sugar levels are greater than 250 milligrams per deciliter with ketosis present or greater than 300 mg/dL without ketosis. Ketosis happens when your body doesn’t have enough glucose to use for energy, forcing it to burn stored fat instead. You should grab a snack if you have less than 100 mg/dL to ensure you have the energy for exercise.
2. Not Staying Hydrated
Those with diabetes are more prone to dehydration. Dehydration leads to increased blood sugar levels. Avoid the sports drinks, which are packed with carbs and sugar, and drink water when working out. Aim to drink six ounces of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise (or whenever you get thirsty.)
3. Forgetting To Pack an Emergency Kit
One benefit of exercise is that it helps your muscles better handle glucose. This leads to lower blood sugar levels. This benefit is helpful for most people with diabetes, but be careful to avoid letting your blood sugar drop too low. Keep a glucometer to hand, along with fact-acting insulin if you have it and quickly-digested carbohydrates. A snack containing 15 grams of carbohydrates, dried fruit for example, helps when you feel weak or lightheaded.
4. Wearing the Wrong Shoes
People with diabetes should wear breathable socks and well-fitting shoes to protect their feet. If you get a scrape on your feet it takes longer for your body to heal because your increased blood sugar reduces circulation. Wearing comfortable shoes that fit well helps you be more physically active in general, but it also protects against cuts and scrapes that don’t heal. Wearing appropriate footwear is particularly beneficial during the summer where your feet are softer and more prone to cuts.
5. Not Listening to Your Body
Listening to your body is something that benefits everyone who exercises – not just people with diabetes. You should always listen to what your body says. Stop and recover if you feel dizzy. Ease into a workout and slowly increase the pace rather than starting too hard and working your way down.
Exercise is a great way to control diabetes symptoms and improve your overall health. However, there are some precautions to take into account when exercising with diabetes.