Don’t let diabetes stop you from being physically active

Just because you are diagnosed with diabetes doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy being physically active. Talk to your healthcare provider about being more active while managing your diabetes.

Are you thinking that a diagnosis of diabetes is an end to being physically active? Think again! If you or someone you love has diabetes, that does not mean a lifetime of sitting back while others enjoy being physically active. However, there are some additional things to consider before you start or continue with your exercise plan.

Start with a discussion with your healthcare provider. Find out what activities he/she thinks are best for you. This not only depends on the condition of your diabetes, but also your kidneys, blood vessels and heart. Your healthcare provider should also be aware of other conditions that you have, like high blood pressure, heart disease, joint pain or arthritis. Any of these can interfere with physical activity along with diabetes.

Ask your healthcare provider about the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, and how physical activity may affect these medications. Most importantly, let your healthcare provider know if you are experiencing chest pain. Here are some examples of questions that you can take to your doctor:

  • What activities would be best for me considering my diabetes or other health conditions?
  • How do I get started? How much activity do I do at one time and how many days a week?
  • What kind of intensity should I exercise at and how should I feel when I’m exercising?
  • Do I need to take any other health conditions into consideration when I exercise?

The American Diabetes Association (1-800-DIABETES) has many resources to add more physical activity into your daily routine, including a free copy of A Guide to Changing Habits and a Diabetes Outcomes Card, which is a wallet card to record and track progress.

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