Exercise is an important part of any lifestyle, but it plays an especially important
role in diabetes management. Exercise offers many benefits for people with diabetes.
It can lower blood sugar levels, improve insulin sensitivity, and provides overall health benefits.
Speak with your doctor before starting a new physical activity. Changing your fitness
routine may require adjustments to other parts of your treatment plan or medications
that you are taking. With your doctor’s help and support, you should be able to
safely do physical activities that are right for you.
A few guidelines to follow when exercising:
A light snack may help you avoid a drop in blood sugar caused by physical activity.
You can also bring pieces of hard candy or glucose tablets with you in case you
experience a drop in blood sugar.
Test Your Blood Sugar
Testing your blood sugar before and after your activity will help you and your doctor
understand and track how your body reacts to physical activity. Print the Blood Sugar Log and keep track
of your blood sugar levels. Be sure to show it to your doctor at your next checkup.
Find a Routine
Finding a routine not only helps you stay committed to your exercise program, it
also helps you prepare for the change in blood sugar caused by physical activity,
or by your body’s changing needs.
As a person living with diabetes, you don't have to completely avoid your favorite foods.
You do, however, need to watch the size or your portions and keep track of carbohydrates
and calories to stay within your limits. Living with diabetes should not prevent you
from enjoying a wide variety of foods.
Monitor Carbohydrate Intake
Foods that contain carbohydrates raise blood sugar levels. There are several types
of carbohydrates, and the body processes them differently. It is important for people
living with diabetes to monitor their carbohydrate intake and know how certain foods will
affect their blood sugar levels. Most foods today contain a list of ingredients
that indicate the amount of carbohydrates in a serving size. The support and assistance
of a Registered Dietitian (RD) will help you understand and manage a healthy diet,
while still allowing you to enjoy the foods you love.
Create a Diabetes-Friendly Meal
To help you plan delicious meals, you can use the Diabetes Co-Stars Recipe Spinner, which allows you to choose
the foods you enjoy and "spin" them together to create a delicious, diabetes-friendly
recipe. You can also look for an American Diabetes Association (ADA) cookbook online or at your local bookstore.
When you do, you’ll quickly discover that diabetes-friendly recipes can be enjoyable
Many people are faced with obstacles that come from their treatment plan or even
the diagnosis itself. Here are some tips that may help you deal with some of the
People living with diabetes may feel stress, anxiety, frustration, or even depression about
their diagnosis. Focusing on the positive and taking an active role in your health
can be empowering. Support from a family member or close friend can be a key factor in helping to cope.
Adjusting to Treatment
Many people living with diabetes may experience side effects when adding medications, including
insulin, to their treatment plans. The most common side effect of insulin is low
blood sugar, or hypoglycemia, which may be serious. Some people may experience symptoms
such as shaking, sweating, fast heartbeat and blurred vision. Blood sugar monitoring is important for all
people taking insulin. Checking your blood sugar often can also help keep you on
track. Diabetes is a progressive disease, and treatment plans may need to change
over time. Patience, preparedness, and open communication with your healthcare team
can help you deal with the effects of these changes.
It is important to know that diabetes doesn’t have to keep you from traveling. You
can travel anywhere as long as you bring the right supplies and plan ahead. Be sure
to pack snacks just in case you need to raise your blood sugar quickly. Injection
pens, such as the Lantus® SoloSTAR® pen are
easy to use. The Lantus® SoloSTAR®
insulin pen comes prefilled with Lantus®, a long-acting insulin that
is taken once a day at the same time every day. Once Lantus® SoloSTAR®
is opened, it lasts up to 28 days, and should be kept at room temperature and not
refrigerated. The most common side effect of insulin is hypoglycemia, which may
be serious. Blood sugar monitoring is important for all patients taking insulin.
If you travel across time zones, talk with your healthcare provider about how to time your injections.