Find detours when diabetes presents obstaclesBy
All forms of diabetes respond positively to exercise and physical activity, but each also presents obstacles and complications that can make exercising difficult. Like road blocks in the highway, however, detours exist that can help you identify solutions in your efforts to get and stay active.
Type 1 diabetes affects the body’s ability to use sugars, starches, fats and proteins. The body needs various fuels for energy so type 1 disrupts normal energy metabolism at rest and when exercise. Because exercise uses glucose as a fuel, it is an effective way to control blood sugar levels. Exercise has an insulin-like effect on glucose, helping the cells absorb it. Exercise can also counteract elevated blood sugar levels after eating. With exercise, the amount of insulin injected for controlling blood glucose can be lowered in those in type 1 diabetes.
Exercise is a crucial part of the treatment plan for type 2 diabetes. Physical activity can help you improve your blood sugar control, lose weight, and reduce your risk of diabetes-related complications that include heart disease, peripheral artery disease and nerve problems.
Exercise obstacles need not halt your progress. The Joslin Diabetes Center says there is always some type of exercise people with complications can do. They warn not remaining active can lead to developing additional complications and less ability to do the activities of every-daily living.
For example, a common complication, nerve damage, can cause tingling, pain or loss of sensation in your toes, feet and fingers. Joslin’s detour recommendation is to avoid weight-bearing exercises like walking or running and consider stationary bikes or swimming.
Diabetes Management & Supplies offers diabetes self-management and diabetes education services and a unique “I’m in Control” program. For more information on specific exercise needs or to enroll in group or individual sessions, call our Education Department at 1-888-738-7929.
For more detour recommendations, visit Joslin’s Exercising with Diabetes Complication page.