How to Exercise as a Diabetic


Regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep the body healthy. It has many benefits such as stress reduction, improved blood flow in the body and lowering cholesterol levels. However, exercising can be problematic for people with manageable conditions due to the health risks it poses. Those living with diabetes for instance may have to practice great caution when engaging in exercises. Some of the tips that can help include: 


Getting permission 


If you have diabetes you should get permission from your doctor especially if the exercise is vigorous. The doctor will perform some tests such as stress test and heart test to make sure your body can handle the workout and offer the right advice. They may also recommend monitoring during the exercise period to increase safety. 


Constant monitoring 


Exercise increases the rate of metabolism which in turn affects the amount of blood sugar being used. If the level of sugar is low, exercising can lead to the amount getting even lower causing hypoglycemia. Either of the two is dangerous so it’s important to wait until the sugar level is normal before you start to exercise. You should keep checking your glucose level as the exercise progresses to be on the safe side. 


Choose the right exercise 


Diabetes can sometimes cause complications in different parts of the body, which can affect you negatively. It’s therefore advisable to talk to a specialist in the area of the complication before indulging in exercise. For instance, if you have kidney complications you should talk to a kidney specialist as well as your regular doctor. They’ll advice you on the most suitable and befitting exercise. 


Avoid being alone 


Diabetic patients are always advised to avoid getting involved in any type of exercise when they are alone however mild it may seem. Always have someone who knows the danger signs to look for and the right action to take. They should be familiar with your routine and medical history and should be able to handle emergency situations appropriately. 


Know when to stop 


Most exercise routines have specific targets with regards to how long they should last and how much effort it requires. Always know when to stop even if that specific routine isn’t over. Sudden pain in any part of the body is usually a warning sign that you shouldn’t ignore. Any type of pain that is different from soreness associated with workouts should be taken seriously. 




Some of the exercises for diabetics include, walking or climbing stairs, riding a bicycle, swimming and dancing. Ensure you wear preventative diabetic shoes for the exercise you choose since the condition puts you at a higher risk of having foot problems such as infections or even nerve damage. If possible, talk to a physiologist to give you a proper exercise plan. Drink a lot of water, carry a snack(that can quickly raise your blood sugar, if that becomes necessary) and always have an emergency number in case you need it. 

The most important lesson is to consult with your clinician. Taking high quality advice from your doctor is the first step on the path to managing diabetes. 


*The author of this blog is not a medical professional and this article does not contain professional medical advice. This blog is not intended to substitute for medical advice, treatment, or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of the contents of this article. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call 911 immediately