Types & Benefits of Exercise

Exercise is part of a healthy lifestyle for everyone, and it's especially important for people with diabetes. The goal is to get active and stay active by doing things you enjoy. Begin by choosing an activity that is comfortable and fits your level of disability. Start slowly and increase intensity and duration gradually. It is recommended to exercise 30 minutes a day; five times a week.

Benefits of Exercise
  • Weight loss.
  • Relieve stress.
  • Control blood sugar.
  • Lower blood pressure.
  • Raise good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol.
  • Keep you away from the risk of other health problems, such as stroke or heart attack.
  • Improve muscle strength and endurance.
  • Make your bones stronger.

Before Starting an Exercise Program.
  1. Consult your doctor
  2. Test your blood sugar before and after each exercise session.
    • Do not exercise if your blood sugar is over 250 mg/dl and you have ketones.
    • If you are Type 1 : Do not exercise if blood sugar is 300 mg/dl or more but no ketones are present.
    • If you are Type 2: Do not exercise if blood sugar is 400 mg/dl or more but no ketones are presen.t
  3. Stop exercising if you are sweating, feeling dizzy or tired. These are symptoms of low blood sugar reactions.
  4. To prevent low blood sugar reactions.
    • Exercise 1 to 1½ hours after eating.
    • Always carry a carbohydrate snack (juice, candy, etc) with you.
    • Drink plenty of water.
    • Exercise should be completed 2 hours before bedtime.

For a Good Exercise Session Remember to
  1. Stretch for 5-10 minutes before and after every session.
  2. Drink a cup of water before you begin exercising.
  3. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes.
  4. Start with simple exercises and move on to more difficult exercises.
  5. When you use weights; start slowly and gradually work up to more weights.

Types of Exercise

There are four kinds of activities that you can benefit from

  • Flexibility Exercises 

    Flexibility exercises, like stretching, will keep your joints flexible and reduce your chances of injury during exercise. Gentle stretching for 5 to 10 minutes will warm up your body and get you ready for aerobic activities.

  • Aerobic Exercise 

    Aerobic exercise improves your heart rate, works your muscles, and enhances your breathing rate. For most people, it's best to aim for a total of about 30 minutes a day, at least 5 days a week. If you haven't been very active recently, you can start out with 5 or 10 minutes a day and work up to more time each week. Examples of aerobic exercises include water aerobic exercises and stationary hand-cycles.

  • Strength Training 

    With strength training your bones and muscles will be stronger. With more muscle, you burn more calories, even at rest. Examples of strength training include lifting weights and using elastic bands.

  • Pressure Relief

    You need to shift your weight frequently. Being on a wheel chair for a long time makes you vulnerable to the development of pressure ulcers. Pressure ulcers can be prevented by avoiding prolonged unrelieved pressure on the skin, especially over boney prominences. This can be accomplished through proper positioning, an appropriate cushion, and periodic pressure reliefs.

    Pressure relief can be accomplished by lifting the buttocks from the seat, or by shifting the trunk forward or to the side. These activities can be performed with assistance or independently, depending on the individual’s ability.

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