Fitness Over 40

Exercise for Type 2 Diabetics: 6 Safety Tips

Posted by LeeAnn Langdon on Thu, Jun 16, 2011 @ 11:59 AM

According to the 2011 National Diabetes Fact Sheet, almost 26 million Americans have diabetes. Of those, it's estimated that 90-95% have Type 2 diabetes, the type in which your body becomes resistant to the insulin it produces and can no longer efficiently manage your blood sugar levels.

Exercise and physical activity are almost always included in a treatment plan for Type 2 diabetics because regular exercise offers so many benefits: from improving your insulin sensitivity, to lowering blood pressure and improving circulation.

safety tips for exercising with diabetes

But before you begin a workout program to help you manage your Type 2 diabetes, keep these safety tips in mind:

  1. Check with your doctor first! Always get your doctor's ok before you begin an exercise program. He or she will recommend an appropriate program and will monitor you for any issues that would contraindicate exercise.
  2. Check your blood sugar before and after you exercise. Exercise can have immediate and long-lasting effect on your blood sugar, so be sure you know your numbers and don't let your blood sugar drop too low. It's usually safest for diabetics to exercise one to two hours after a meal and never on an empty stomach.
  3. Take special care of your feet. Because poor circulation can be a problem for diabetics, you'll want to wear good fitting shoes and socks and monitor your feet for sores or blisters.
  4. Stay hydrated. Dehydration can affect your blood sugar levels, so be sure to drink water before, during and after you exercise.
  5. Keep a snack on hand. Because exercise can impact your blood sugar quickly, be sure to keep a fast-acting snack ready when you exercise in case you experience hypoglycemia.
  6. Know when to stop. If you have any of these symptoms, stop right away:
    1. You feel faint or dizzy
    2. You have difficulty breathing
    3. You have an irregular heartbeat or you feel your heart racing
    4. You experience nausea or vomiting
    5. You feel extreme fatigue.

Regular exercise for type 2 diabetics can help you manage your blood sugar levels and prevent some of the serious health risks that come with diabetes. So by all means, get moving--just be sure you use your good sense and stay safe.

(photo credit: Joel Washing)

10 Tips for Aging Vibrantly

Tags: safety, Type 2 diabetes

FREE QUIZ:Is a Personal TrainerRight for

Let's Connect!

Subscribe to the Fitness Over 40 Blog

Most Popular Posts

Ask the Trainer

Comment Guidelines

Thanks for visiting the Prime of Life Fitness blog, Fitness Over 40. I hope you'll come back often and share your thoughts in the comments.

A blog is a public forum of sorts, but I value all my guests, and I want everyone to feel comfortable here, so there are just a few rules I ask you to follow in your comments.

  • We all have more fun and get more out of the conversation when we're on our best behavior.
  • Diverse opinions and constructive criticism are welcome, but trolls and jerks are not.
  • Please try to state your opinions in a way that's not offensive, rude or incendiary, and if you disagree with a post or another commenter, please do so civilly.
  • Your questions and comments about your own personal fitness journey are especially welcome.
  • All comments are curated to prevent spam, so there may be a delay of several hours before your comment appears.
  • Comments may be edited for grammar and spelling, and may be removed at any time.
Thanks again for joining the conversation!