Remembering the common saying, “Easy does it,” can apply to a lot of different situations. Carefully placing the finishing touches on a painting, putting the topper on a beautiful wedding cake, or teaching a teenager how to drive a car all take caution and patience. With a health condition such as diabetes, great caution needs to be taken when it comes to safely exercising to help manage the disease. Without the right techniques, habits, or equipment (such as good shoes), you are putting yourself at risk for injury or other health complications.
Exercise is important when you have diabetes. It can help lower your glucose levels, maintain weight control, promote better sleep, lower your risk for stroke and heart disease, and strengthen your bones and muscles, to name just a few of the benefits.
If you are just starting out, ease into activity slowly. Get the necessary permission from your doctor and start out with a low-impact activity for a short amount of time, such as a morning stroll or bike ride in your neighborhood. Wear shoes that are appropriate for the activity you are doing, and ensure that they fit well. An ill-fitting shoe could lead to a sore spot or blister, which could turn into a serious injury. Your shoes should fit right from the start (no break-in period). They should also have good heel and arch support and flat, non-skid soles.
Avoid exercising when it is too hot or too cold, and drink plenty of water. Carry a carbohydrate snack with you in case your glucose gets low, and track how your body responds to exercise. Each person is different and you will need to accommodate for the highs and lows that come with different levels or types of exercise. If at any time you feel pain or any other symptom, stop and talk to your doctor.
Diabetes and exercise can be a tricky combination, but with care and caution you can stay active and pain free. If you have any questions or concerns about your foot health along the way, don’t hesitate to contact Dr. Gene Reister at Richardson Podiatry Associates. You can reach our office in Richardson, TX by calling (972) 690-5374.