Diabetes Education

Diabetes & Exercise

Prior to starting an exercise program; or if making significant changes in your physical activity level; schedule a complete physical and consider other consultations to determine if there may be changes necessary in your eating plan and medications. An exercise physiologist may be able to help you determine the activities that best suit your individual needs.

Regular Physical activity can provide the following benefits:

  • Strength and flexibility improvements / increases
  • Cardiovascular system toning and conditioning
  • Blood pressure, blood sugar and weight reduction
  • Lowering triglyceride levels / Raising HDL (good cholesterol) Levels
  • Insulin sensitivity improves
  • Other improvements: Hemoglobin A1C reduction, Sense of Well-Being and Attitude Enhancement

Safe Exercise Rules:

  • Have your physician screen for: possible nerve, kidney or heart disease complications, and for any evidence of retinopathy.
  • Usually any evidence of health concerns does not mean that exercise must be avoided; but special precautions may need to be adhered to in order to safely proceed with your workouts.The physician may recommend an EKG ( electrocardiogram) and a stress test on a treadmill which may detect heart abnormalities.
  • Know your limits. Do not over exercise. Listen to your body. If you have pain, fatigue, or shortness of breath this could lead to injuries.
  • Begin with gentle stretching and 5 to 10 minutes of warm up movements
  • Proceed to 20-30 minutes of aerobic activity that is not too intense; but definitely gets your heart muscle pumping.
  • Remember you should be able to have a conversation with your workout partner during your workout; and not be too short of breath.
  • Exercise will help to burn calories and helps you stay at a healthy weight or lose weight.
  • Remember to cool down by keeping your arms and legs moving at a relaxed pace: step side to side or walk in place for a few minutes after your workout.

Jeanna Rhoulhac, RD, LD/N, CDE, has been dedicated to helping people with diabetes for almost 20 years. Jeanna’s interest in diabetes began at an early age as her maternal grandmother had type 2 diabetes. Providing her clients with an individualized plan of care is very important to Jeanna, who strives to motivate and support her clients in every way. More about Jeanna

The goal of Destination Diabetes® is to be a useful and credible resource for the more than 20 million children and adults who have diabetes in the U.S. and their families. Destination Diabetes® provides information on a wide range of diabetes health and wellness topics. Articles are written or reviewed by diabetes advisors who have experience in diabetes education.