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Diabetes and Exercise

Getting Started

Always talk with your doctor before you start a new physical activity program. Ask about your medications -- prescription and over-the-counter -- and whether you should change the amount you take before you exercise. Be sure to ask which types of physical activity are safe for you if you have:
If you have diabetes and exercise, decide exactly what you'll do and set some goals. Choose:
  • The type of physical activity you want to do
  • The clothes and items you'll need to get ready
  • The days and times you'll add activity
  • The length of each session
  • Your warm-up and cool-down plan for each session
  • Alternatives, such as where you'll walk if the weather is bad
  • Your measures of progress.
Here are some other things you might do as you begin an exercise program:
  • Find an exercise buddy. Many people find that they are more likely to do something active if a friend joins them. If you and a friend plan to walk together, for example, you may be more likely to do it.
  • Keep track of your physical activity. Write down when you exercise and for how long in your blood glucose record book. You'll be able to track your progress and to see how physical activity affects your blood glucose.
  • Decide how you'll reward yourself. Do something nice for yourself when you reach your activity goals. For example, treat yourself to a movie or buy a new plant for the garden.

Staying Active

One of the keys to staying on track is finding some activities you like to do. If you keep finding excuses not to exercise, think about why. Are your goals realistic? Do you need a change in activity? Would another time be more convenient? Keep trying until you find a routine that works for you. Once you make physical activity a habit, you'll wonder how you lived without it.
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