If You Have Diabetes, You’ve Got to Stay Active!

Many people who suffer from diabetes are concerned about engaging in vigorous physical activity or exercise, and that’s understandable. One of the most challenging aspects of diabetes is how it makes a person more susceptible to injury, especially in the lower legs and feet. Today, our podiatrist, Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists is sharing information to alleviate your worries.

If you’re suffering from neuropathy and/or poor circulation, it can be easy to overlook a minor injury for so long that it becomes a bigger problem.

Regular exercise is a critical part of diabetes treatment and management. Engaging in an active lifestyle has major benefits for a person living with diabetes, including, but not limited to:

  • Weight loss;
  • Improved sugar regulation;
  • Better blood pressure and cholesterol regulation;
  • Improved blood flow to the feet;
  • Cells that are more efficient at absorbing nutrients.

Getting (or staying) in shape and living an active life is one of the best ways to keep your condition from worsening, and therefore preventing complications.

As a diabetic, you should be active but do so safely and responsibly

One element of this approach is the activities you select. Depending on the seriousness of any circulatory or neuropathy problems, running or high-impact sports might not be the best choice for you.

However, there are much lower-impact strength, aerobic, and range-of-motion exercises you can perform, including bicycling (outdoor or stationary), brisk walking, weight training, and swimming.

Another component is protection – you should always make sure you’ve got the proper gear for your activity. That includes comfortable shoes that breathe well, fit correctly, and are a good fit for the activities or sports you’ll be engaging in.

Lastly, determine how the exercise is affecting your sugar levels and prepare accordingly. That means always testing yourself before, during (if possible) and after exercising, at regular intervals. Stay hydrated, and pack some quick-acting carbs in the event if your sugar level gets too low. A great idea is to document how your sugar level varies with different activities, so you know what to expect going forward.

You should aim for at least 30 uninterrupted minutes of moderate exercise and stay active throughout the day. Try not to remain sedentary for long stretches of time.

If you have any additional questions regarding your diabetic foot care and how your activity level may be affecting it, call the office of Dr. Hubert Lee of CarePlus Foot & Ankle Specialists today at (425) 455-0936 to schedule a consultation.