Diabetes Home > Diabetes and Exercise

Stretching can help:
  • Increase flexibility
  • Lower stress
  • Prevent muscle soreness after other types of exercise.
Your healthcare team can tell you what kind of stretching is best for you.

What Time of Day Is Best?

Ask your healthcare team about the best time of day for you to exercise. In deciding when to exercise, it is important to consider your:
If you have diabetes and exercise when your blood glucose is above 300, your blood glucose can go even higher. It's best not to exercise until your blood glucose is lower. Also, exercise is not recommended if your fasting blood glucose is above 250 and you have ketones in your urine.

What Exercises Should I Not Do?

If you experience complications of diabetes, some exercises can make your problems worse. For example, activities that increase the pressure in the blood vessels of your eyes -- such as lifting heavy weights -- can make diabetic eye problems worse. If nerve damage from diabetes has made your feet numb, your doctor may suggest that you try swimming instead of walking for aerobic exercise.
Numbness means that you may not feel any pain from sores or blisters on your feet and so may not notice them. Then they can get worse and lead to more serious problems. Make sure you exercise in cotton socks and comfortable shoes that are designed for the activity you are doing. After you exercise, check your feet for:
  • Cuts
  • Sores
  • Bumps
  • Redness.
Call your doctor if any foot problems develop.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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