Get a “preflight” check

  1. Talk with your doctor before you start or change a fitness routine.
  2. Especially if you are overweight or have a history of heart disease, peripheral vascular disease, or diabetic neuropathy.
  3. Go for a complete physical exam and an exercise stress test for people if you are 35 or older and who have had diabetes for more than 10 years. The results can help determine the safest way for you to increase physical activity.

Spread your activity throughout the week

  1. Adults should aim for a weekly total of at least 160 minutes of moderate aerobic activity, or 80 minutes of vigorous activity, or an equivalent mix of the two.
  2. Be active at least 3 to 5 days a week.

Time your exercise wisely

  1. The best time to exercise is 1 to 3 hours after eating, when your blood sugar level is likely to be higher.
  2. If you use insulin, it’s important to test your blood sugar before exercising. If it is below 100 mg/dL, eat a piece of fruit or have a small snack to boost it and help you avoid hypoglycemia. Test again 30 minutes later to see if your blood sugar level is stable.
  3. Check your blood sugar after any particularly grueling workout or activity.
  4. If you use insulin, your risk of developing hypoglycemia may be highest 6 to 12 hours after exercising.
  5. Do not exercise if your blood sugar is too high (over 250).

Be prepared

  1. Should you experience a medical problem while exercising (or at any time) it is important that the people who care for you know that you have diabetes.
  2. Keep card handy or glucose tablets with you while exercising in case your blood sugar takes a sudden nosedive.
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