Diabetes Exercise Do's and Don'ts

Do's of Exercise

  • Do check blood glucose before and after exercise and record results
  • Do start slowly
  • Do know the signs of low blood glucose
  • Do carry glucose tablets or a sugar source with you
  • Do wear diabetes ID
  • Do know side effects of medications you are on; some medications can hide low blood glucose symptoms
  • Do plan a schedule for exercise three times per week - work up to 20 - 45 minutes of exercise each day; exercising for 60 minutes is best for weight loss
  • Do warm up for five-ten minutes before exercise and cool down five-ten minutes after exercise
  • Do talk with your doctor about how hard you should exercise. Ask your doctor about what target heart rate you should have during exercise
  • Do drink lots of water before, during and after exercise
  • Do wear good exercise shoes
  • Do exercise on smooth surfaces.

Don'ts of Exercise

  • Don't drink alcoholic beverages before, during, or after exercise,
  • Don't exercise if you are not feeling well.
  • Don't exercise in very hot, humid weather or in smog.
  • Don't exercise when blood glucose is over 240 mg/dl and ketones are present.
  • Don't exercise if you have pain - stop and call your doctor.

If on Insulin

  • If exercising when your insulin is peaking or working hardest, use caution to avoid low blood glucose. If you do have low blood glucose while exercising - treat it.
  • Avoid injecting insulin into a body area that you know will be directly exercised. Changes in the insulin dose may be needed before and/or after. If you have low blood glucose reactions - talk with your doctor.