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  • Exercise Guidelines

    Posted on June 26th, 2012 Patricia No comments

    The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association recommend a combination of aerobic activity, muscular fitness exercise and stretching exercises for those with diabetes.

    Endurance and Stamina Building

    Suitable cardiovascular/aerobic exercises include walking, swimming, bicycling and aerobic classes done at a moderate pace. Perform them three to five times per week for an optimal length of 20 to 40 minutes, making sure to warm up and cool down sufficiently. If you can only exercise for five minutes in the beginning, that is fine. The duration can be progressively increased each week by one or two minutes.
    As you progress, increase the frequency to five to seven times per week. This will promote a sustained increase in insulin sensitivity and facilitate weight loss and weight maintenance.
    Glucose should be monitored frequently during exercise (every 15 minutes for beginners, less often for experienced participants), immediately after exercise, and four to five hours after exercise.
    It is important to drink plenty of caffeine-free, calorie-free, alcohol-free fluids before, during and after exercise. This is especially true if you have hyperglycemia, since the body loses fluid in an effort to eliminate additional blood glucose.
    If you have Type II diabetes with a high morning blood sugar, you might benefit from exercising after 4 p.m., which might stop the liver from producing excess sugar during the night. Exercising in the morning may prevent nighttime hypoglycemia.
    If you have elevated blood glucose after meals, short walks after eating may prove helpful. For too-high blood glucose levels before meals, engage in activity prior to eating.
    Muscular/Skeletal Fitness
    Muscular fitness exercise improves both muscular and skeletal fitness for increased strength, endurance and toning. If you have retinopathy or hypertension, you should not use heavy weights, lift above your head or hold your breath.

    Perform muscular fitness exercises that target the major muscles of your body, such as legs, chest, back and shoulders.

    These exercises include: weight training with light dumbbells or weight machines; calisthenics/mobility exercises, such as sit-ups, modified pushups, toe touches, arm circles, leg lifts and reaches; and other resistance exercises using rubber tubing or elastic bands.

    Avoid lifting heavy weights and be careful not to hold your breath.
    Perform the exercises every other day (not on consecutive days), three days per week.
    Perform all exercises in a slow and controlled manner to ensure the targeted muscles perform the work.

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