Exercise Before and After, A Guideline to Follow

Exercise before and after, a guideline

2390974_origNow you are convinced that exercise is one of the most effective ways to put your diabetes under control. You need to put this thought and the determination into an action mode by consulting with your health care providers first. Once approved, you will need to purchase some appropriate sportswear, diabetes socks and diabetes shoes to commit. Use a duffle bag in which bottle water, healthy snacks and glucose tablets are stored. You may either sign with a local gym to get started or just start with walking briskly at home or a mall starting with one mile. Increase gradually to 3 miles or so three times a week each 60 minutes or more. During the exercise you need to pay attention to your body’s reaction to the exercise. Do not over exercise; this will siphon off your blood glucose too fast which may cause hypoglycemic reactions.

How long each exercise should last

It is best to put in 60 minutes in every exercise. This is because in the first 15 minutes your body will utilize glucose in your bloodstream and muscles, in the second 15 minutes, your glycogen (fuel) in the liver start to contribute to the generation of glucose, in the third 15 minutes, you body will tap into fatty acid that is the fat in your belly as energy source. The third stage is particularly important because the decrease in fatty tissue in your body will increase the sensitivity to insulin the net result is better control of your glucose in the long run.

Managing your blood glucose during and after

If your blood glucose is around 100 mg/dL during or after exercise this would be ideal. However if your blood glucose is much lower than 100 mg/dL ( 40’s, 50’s) during and immediately after exercise, take a snack bar to ease. You will need to increase carbohydrates intake one to two hours before your next exercise. If your blood glucose at bedtime is still much less than 100 mg/dL double your bedtime snack and decrease insulin dose may be necessary. All these measurements should be taken following a prompt consultation with your health care providers. Always have a healthy snack ready to combat hypoglycemia (1/2 ounce or 15 g of carbohydrates from a healthy snack bar should be sufficient to prevent a low blood glucose).

Other guidelines

Other guidelines include avoid exercise at the peak of your insulin action, avoid late evening exercise, avoid consuming alcohol prior to exercise.

Unplanned exercise

Unplanned exercise should be avoided. The hazards include sudden drop of blood glucose.

Remember exercise is like building a brick house. It takes one brick at a time steadily the house will be built. And always remember the benefit of exercise goes beyond just decreasing blood sugar, it strengthens muscles and bones, decreases blood pressure, helps to raise good cholesterol and decrease the bad cholesterol, gives you energy and enhances your mood and decreases your stress level. The bottom-line is there is no other method beside exercise which delivers these benefits.

Why not take an action to exercise today.

Written by Charles Liu, Clinical Pharmacist, MBA
Beaumont Health System

Charles H. Liu, R. Ph, MBA

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