Regular exercise is one of the important elements for diabetic self-management. The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetic patients should maintain 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week and avoid two consecutive days without exercise. Meanwhile, as important as aerobic exercise, resistance exercise should be done twice every week. Resistance exercise uses one’s own body weight or mechanical gravity to train muscle groups repeatedly, which helps to increase muscle strength.
Take note of the followings before exercise:
1. Detailed physical evaluation should be performed by a doctor, including patient’s age, cardiovascular fitness, presence of diabetic complications and musculoskeletal conditions.
2. Discuss the suitable types of exercise with your doctor to prevent adverse effects during exercise. For example, high-intensity resistance exercise should be avoided for patients with severe retinopathy as there could be risk of retinal detachment.
3. Perform exercise step by step. Set 10 minutes as a unit, exercise 3 times per day, 5 days per week.
4. Gradually increase the intensity. Moderate-intensity exercise, which makes you breath heavily, able to speak yet unable to sing, helps improve the blood sugar level.
5. Do not forget to measure your blood sugar level before, during and after exercise to ensure that the levels are within the normal range.
6. Choose the type of exercise that you like, so that you can persevere.