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What Should I Know About Diabetes and Exercise?

Anna T.
Updated May 17, 2024
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Among the things you should know about diabetes and exercise is that exercise can be beneficial to people with diabetes, but it can also be dangerous if you aren't careful. Most doctors recommend exercise for many people with diabetes, including type 1 and type 2. The dangers of exercising with diabetes are normally easy to avoid if you are careful about how you do it. Unlike people without diabetes, diabetics need to pay close attention to the effects exercise may have on their blood glucose levels. Determining what exercises to do and when can usually be understood through a simple trial and error process.

The benefits of diabetes and exercise vary depending on the type of diabetes you have. If you have type 1 diabetes, exercise may make it possible for you to reduce the amounts of insulin you need to inject. This is because when a person with type 1 diabetes participates in exercise, it sometimes causes an insulin effect on the pancreas. It is very important to measure your blood glucose levels both prior to and after exercising to see how the increase in activity affected it. After several days of experimenting with different levels of activity and adjusting the length of time you exercise, you may be able to better understand what exercise routine produces the best results on your insulin levels.

There are also some benefits related to type 2 diabetes and exercise. People with type 2 diabetes have cells that do not allow entry of glucose, although the pancreas still makes insulin. When a person with type 2 diabetes participates in some type of exercise, the increased activity may cause the cells to respond well to the glucose and allow it in. This may greatly help the symptoms of type 2 diabetes for many people, but exercise should still be approached with caution. If you have type 2 diabetes and want to begin an exercise routine, be sure to monitor your glucose levels before and see what effect it is having on you after each activity session.

While you are exercising, you should keep an eye on the health of your feet because foot problems are common in diabetics. Lots of exercises are hard on feet, and if you notice any swelling or sores, you should probably stop your exercise routine until your feet heal or the swelling goes down. Another important reason to monitor blood glucose levels when exercising is because it may occasionally cause them to go too high or too low, which can be very dangerous. It is generally a good idea to take a doctor's advice regarding diabetes and exercise before you begin any set routine. All types of diabetes are serious enough to warrant a visit to the doctor before anything new is attempted to help control the symptoms.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Anna T.
By Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
Discussion Comments
Anna T.
Anna T.
Anna Thurman is a skilled writer who lends her talents to WiseGeek. Her ability to research and present information in an engaging and accessible manner allows her to create content that resonates with readers across a wide range of subjects.
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