Thursday, June 30, 2005

Exercising For Diebetes Sufferers

Exercise is often recommended in treating type 1 (insulin-
dependent) and type 2 (noninsulin- dependent) diabetes ~
both as a stand-alone activity and in combination with diet
and drug therapy. For people who are heavily dependent on
medicines, exercise cannot replace drugs but it does
contribute to normalizing the glucose metabolism.

Exercise helps diabetes sufferers in many ways. Weight is
easier controlled when exercising regularly. Blood sugar
level, which is a major concern for all diabetes sufferers,
is lowered, thanks to exercise. Additionally, exercise
lessens the probability of a heart disease, which is also
very wide-spread among diabetes sufferers.

Also, regular exercise helps to improve one~s overall
condition and this way reduces the risk of long-term
complications. Regular exercise can even prevent diabetes in
people who still have not developed it but are susceptible
to it.

Despite the numerous advantages of exercise, do not
underestimate the risks. Let your doctor decide if taking
exercise is recommendable for you and if yes ~ what kind of
exercise will be less risky. One of the dangers for diabetes
sufferers are that exercise might change your reaction to
insulin or might lead to an abrupt drop in blood sugar
level, which is another risk for you.

In addition to the general advice for exercising, there are
some tips, which for diabetes sufferers are especially
important to follow. For them wearing comfortable shoes (and
clothes) is a must because the occurrence of a single
blister on the foot might lead to a serious infection that
requires time and drugs to heal.

It is also very important to drink water and fluids of any
kind, while exercising. Your body sweats in order to cool
itself and you need to compensate for the sweat by in-taking
more fluids, otherwise you can get dehydrated. And
dehydration is dangerous because it impacts the blood sugar

Depending on your physical combination, the choice of
exercise activities varies ~ from household chores, to
climbing the stairs, to weight lifting.

Usually household chores are risk free because they do not
require much effort and are no longer than 20-30 minutes a
day. Also, doctors often recommend various aerobic exercise
~ walking, aerobics, jogging, bicycling, etc.

Jogging and walking stress the lower limbs and are not
recommended if you have problems with the nerves in the legs
or feet. In these cases chair exercises, swimming, or
bicycling are suggested because they do not have the above-
mentioned disadvantages.

If you are young or do not have diabetes-related
complications, even strength training is OK. However, it is
mandatory that your doctor approves strength training. Even
better, exercise only in the presence of a personal
instructor! Strength training exercises make one~s muscles
to more actively demand glucose and have a positive effect
on the glucose metabolism. Besides, strength training
minimizes the lean mass and helps in keeping weight under

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