Diabetes Cure
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DIABETES diabetes management

Developing an Exercise Program

A successful exercise program can offer you many of the following benefits:

1. Improves your resting heart rate and blood pressure.

2. Strengthens your heart.

3. Lowers your body's percentage of body fat. Helps control weight.

4. Lowers cholesterol levels. Increases protective cholesterol levels.

5. Lowers blood sugar levels by increasing sensitivity to insulin.

6. Helps to balance food, insulin, and exercise.

7. Increases energy level.

8. Provides a sense of well-being and satisfaction.

What you will need

1. Tennis shoes that fit properly.

2. T-shirt and shorts or sweats.

3. Lots and lots of excitement, motivation, determination, and perseverance. To achieve maximum benefit from your beginning fitness program and to help evaluate your progress the following are recommended.

1. KEEP A DAILY RECORD: A simple chart of the date, blood sugar, amount of time of continual walking, 15-second pulse count before and at the end of the walk, and any symptoms or comments you want to add. Fill this chart in daily.

2. WALKING SHOULD BE CONTINUAL AND RHYTHMIC. Swing your arms and stride along at an even rhythmic pace. Do not stroll along and do not stop unless necessary. Wear loose fitting clothing and comfortable shoes.

3. If your pulse rate at the end of your walk is greater than the upper limit pulse rate discussed with you, decrease the speed of your walk. Phone your physician if heart rate after exercise is consistently over this level.

4. KEEP ACTIVE DURING THE DAY. Develop better movement habits. Begin to think in terms of activity. Sit less - move more!

5. Remember diet control (restricted dietary fats and proper body weight)!

6. Report to your physician if you develop any of the following symptoms during or after your daily walk:

a. Excessive fatigue e. Pain in the chest, teeth, jaw, arms or ears

b. Lightheadedness or dizziness f. Irregularity of the pulse

c. Nausea and/or vomiting g. Shortness of breath

d. Any unusual joint, muscle, or ligament problem

7. Do not walk immediately after meals - wait at least 30 minutes to 1 hour.

8. Walking should be done on level surfaces. Slow down on inclines.

9. Warm up before exercise with gentle stretching.

10. Do not exercise during the heat of the day during summer. Heat and humidity will increase the pulse rate. If exercise in cold weather is uncomfortable for you, contact your health care provider for an exercise revision.

11. Prior to starting a weight lifting program, consult your physician. Static exercise (weight training) may be contraindicated.


1. Check blood sugar before and 30 minutes after exercise.

2. Check pulse before and after exercise.

3. Inspect feet before and after exercise.

4. Wear loose-fitting clothing and leather walking shoes.

5. Carry a carbohydrate snack.

6. Carry I.D. that gives name, address, medical condition, and medications.

7. Stop activity immediately if you:

a. Feel tightness or pain in chest, arms, ears, jaws or teeth

b. Experience severe shortness of breath

c. Experience palpitations or nausea

Blood Sugar Limits for Exercise

1. For blood sugars less than 80 mg/dl:

Eat a large snack: 1 c. skim milk, 2 Tbs. peanut butter, and 6 saltine crackers. Wait 10-15 minutes and recheck blood sugar. If blood sugar is greater than 120, OK to exercise.

2. For blood sugars between 80-120 mg/dl: Eat a small snack: apple or crackers.

3. If your blood sugar is between 120-250 mg/dl:


4. If your blood sugar is greater than 250 mg/dl:

BE AWARE, blood sugar may increase OR decrease after exercise. Monitor your blood glucose closely, especially 4-6 hours after exercise.

If you have type 1 diabetes, check for ketones. If they are moderate to large, do not exercise, rest and increase fluids, unless otherwise instructed by health care provider.

5. If your blood sugar is greater than 400: DO NOT EXERCISE! May be indicative of an illness or infection.


Avoiding hypoglycemia

1. Do not drink alcoholic beverages before or while exercising.

2. Do not inject insulin into a part of the body you will be exercising.

3. Do not exercise at the peak of your insulin.

4. The best time to exercise is 30 minutes - 1 hour after a meal.

5. Take a snack before and while exercising if appropriate.

How to Take Your Pulse

You can take your pulse at either of two locations: the carotid artery in your neck or the radial artery in your wrist. Be very cautious when counting your carotid pulse. If you apply too much pressure with your fingers, you will cause a reflexive slowing of the heart that may lead to an inaccurate pulse count or cause you to faint.

Your heart rate increases during exercise and decreases rapidly when you stop exercising. Therefore, it is important to take your pulse as soon as possible after exercise. Practice taking your pulse in the following way until you get three consecutive counts that are within one beat of each other.

1. Right-handed persons should use the first two fingers (never the thumb) of the right hand to count the pulse. For the carotid pulse, place your fingers on the left side of your throat; for the radial pulse; place your fingers on your left wrist. Note that the pulse location is on the thumb side. Watching the second hand of the clock, you must accurately locate your pulse as quickly as possible.

2. Begin counting the pulse when the second hand reaches a point at which you can easily distinguish a 15 second interval. Count for 15 seconds, and then multiply the count by 4 to figure the number of beats per minute.

If you have any signs or symptoms of coronary disease or exesssive deconditioning or if you are over 35 years of age and beginning an exercise program for the first time, it is suggested that you have an exercise stress test performed under the supervison of a physician.

People with diabetes are more likely than others to develop problems in the legs and feet.

Daily exercise and not smoking can help prevent serious damage.

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