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Tips for Exercising Safely When You Have Diabetes

Table of Contents

Getting Started

Before you start a new exercise program, talk to your doctor about how and when to exercise. Some types of exercise can be harmful if your diabetes is causing other problems, such as problems with your feet. Your doctor can tell you what types of exercise are good choices for you.

Here are some general safety tips.

Things you should know about blood sugar levels

Ask your doctor if your medicine affects your blood sugar and how often you need to check your blood sugar when you exercise.

Watch for low blood sugar

Some diabetes medicines can cause low-blood sugar emergencies. If you take this type of medicine, check your blood sugar before you exercise. If your blood sugar is less than 90 mg/dL, you may need to eat a carbohydrate snack first.

You may get symptoms of low blood sugar during exercise or up to 24 hours later. Some symptoms of low blood sugar, such as sweating, can be confused with what can happen anytime you exercise. So it is a good idea to check your blood sugar again.

Check your blood sugar more often if you exercise longer or harder than usual.

Watch for high blood sugar

If your blood sugar is high (for example, over 250 mg/dL) and:

Credits for Tips for Exercising Safely When You Have Diabetes

Current as of: February 28, 2023

Author: Healthwise Staff
Clinical Review Board
All Healthwise education is reviewed by a team that includes physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, registered dieticians, and other healthcare professionals.

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