Incorporating physical activity into a type 2 diabetic's lifestyle is beneficial mentally and physically. Regular exercise promotes a healthy weight loss, helps control blood sugar levels, and creates an overall positive feeling.
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When considering a fitness program, it is vital to keep yourself medically safe.
- Notify your doctor before starting and stopping any physical activity. Based on your medical history, there may be specific guidelines to follow.
- Conduct an internet search using your ZIP code or city for health clubs, gyms, fitness centers. Inquire at your job for co-worker recommendations. Check with human resources at work for employee fitness discounts.
- Know what to expect by reading information on the class you chose. Remind yourself it is ok to ask the health facility questions.
- Start easy and slow. Consider low impact at first. You can advance to a higher level later. Check glucose and blood pressure levels before and after each exercise session. Adjust diabetes medications to prevent a hypoglycemia episode. (Ask for help to calculate the numbers as needed.) Always carry hard candy with you for low blood sugars.
- Always include a warmup before exercise and cool down after the session. Bring bottled water to stay hydrated and a diabetic energy bar if you need a snack. (15 grams = one serving of carbohydrate.) Immediately stop exercising if any nausea, dizziness, headaches, and pain occurs.
- Wear diabetes identification. Notify the person in charge of the class that you have diabetes. Keep family and friends informed of your new exercise program and any changes with times and days.
Remember, there is nothing wrong with switching out the type or level of exercise if it is not working for you. Explore new avenues, enjoy yourself and meet new people!