What to know about exercising with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes

Many physicians recommend that their patients with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes take measures to improve their overall health as well as their blood sugar levels.

Frequently recommended lifestyle changes include eating a diabetic diet and engaging in regular physical activity.

While some people with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes are eager to improve their well-being, there may be several things they should consider before beginning a new exercise regimen.

A recent article published by the Los Angeles Times offered several tips on how individuals with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes can get the most out of their gym time while avoiding potential problems like hypoglycemia, hyperglycemia and bodily injuries.

Dr. Ruchi Mathur, an endocrinologist and director of the diabetes program at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, told the newspaper that although this is standard procedure for many athletes, individuals with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes should ensure that they drink plenty of water when they plan to work out.

She explained that dehydration may cause blood sugar levels to rise, especially in warm temperatures.

Mathur suggested that diabetics who take insulin or other diabetes medications should have a small snack that is high in carbohydrates if their blood sugar levels are below 100 mg/dL before they begin exercising.

People who experience symptoms of hypoglycemia after physical activity may consider having another small carbohydrate-rich snack or drinking juice to help bring their blood glucose levels back within a normal range, the expert told the news provider.

If diabetics find that their blood sugar levels are too high before a workout, they should postpone their exercise until later in order to avoid becoming ketotic, or metabolically unstable, Mathur said.

For individuals with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, the endocrinologist recommended having a stress test and health evaluation conducted by their doctor. She also noted that people with diabetic retinopathy, or eye damage, should avoid strenuous weight-lifting activities since this may rupture blood vessels in the eye.

Physical activity guidelines from the National Institutes of Health state that adults should engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise each week in order to maintain good physical fitness.