3 Ways to Prevent Exercise Exhaustion With Diabetes
Exercise is fundamental to staying healthy when you have diabetes, but the hot summer months can make your normal fitness routine more challenging.
To prevent exercise exhaustion, it's important to stay hydrated and exercise during the early morning hours or late evening hours, when temperatures are cooler. And to make sure you aren't pushing yourself too hard, follow these fitness tips to avoid diabetes complications that can arise with overexercise.
1. Work on balance.
A strenuous or long workout isn't bad in and of itself, but it can raise your risk for injury or exhaustion - especially if you have nerve damage in your feet or toes. Peripheral neuropathy can upset your balance and increase your risk of falling.
Incorporate balance and strength exercises like yoga or pilates into your fitness routine, or use a stationary bike at home or the gym to avoid injuries.
If you are using free weights, do them in a seated position or with one arm supporting your balance on a chair or countertop.
2. Have a conversation.
The "talk test" is an easy way to determine if you are at risk of overexercising or exhaustion.
For light intensity exercise, you should be able to sing or whistle while you are moving. For moderate activity, you should be able to talk and carry on a conversation during exercise. If your workout is extreme, you won't be able to talk due to breathlessness - which could indicate you're pushing yourself too hard.
More experienced exercisers may do fine with high-intensity workouts, but know your limits and ask your doctor if you're unsure what type of exercise is safe for you.
3. Check your blood sugar.
To avoid diabetes complications that can happen with exercise, make sure to check your blood sugar before and after your workout.
Exercise can cause a drop in blood sugar, so it may be necessary to eat something shortly after you're physically active.
If you have questions about monitoring your blood sugar during periods of longer exercise, it may be helpful to make an appointment with an exercise physiologist. This person can help develop a tailored fitness plan that takes into account your diabetes.
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