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Engaging in Exercise - Diabetes Agent

Exercise.

If you’re like most people, just reading that word evokes a clear feeling for you. Maybe you love exercise and you’re afraid that diabetes will prevent you from engaging in your favorite activity. Or maybe you resent having to exercise at all.

As a person with diabetes, exercise is one of the best things you can do for your body. It’s free, there are endless options to engage in so you can find one that you love, and it can offer an instant mood lift, which energizes you to handle the rest of your diabetes management.

Get some great tips for engaging in exercise that fits your lifestyle through these videos and links.


Jump to: Videos  |  Tools & Resources  |  News

Videos

Luke Engaging in Exercise

Luke works through having diabetes during marching band season and how diabetes affects school activities.

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Carlos Engaging in Exercise

Carlos discusses trying to be active after years of inactivity.

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Gene Engaging in Exercise

Gene discusses changing his habits and using housework as opportunities for activity.

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Jessica Engaging in Exercise

Jessica talks about how it’s worth getting over the resistance to exercise.

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Dave Engaging in Exercise

Dave talks about opportunities to refocus his attention on health and exercise.

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Elizabeth Engaging in Exercise

Elizabeth talks about being a working mom and finding time to exercise.

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Sarah Engaging in Exercise

Sarah H. has to slow down on her Roller Derby commitments and finds other ways to be physically active.

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Zac Engaging in Exercise

Zac discusses keeping his sugars from going too low while he regularly engages in high impact exercise.

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Tools & Resources

How does exercise affect my blood sugars?

Exercise is an important part of diabetic management, not only in terms of losing excess weight, but also in stabilizing your metabolism to provide a consistent “burn” of your body sugars for fuel. Low-impact exercise which elevates your heart rate also elevates your metabolism, which tends to stay at a more constant level if your […]

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Exercise Guide: Dips

Learn the proper way to do dips with this informative handout.

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Exercise Guide: Modified Push-Ups

Learn the proper way to do modified push-ups with this informative handout.

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Exercise Guide: Squats

Learn the proper way to do squats with this informative handout.

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Exercise Guide: Sit Up Salutes

Learn the proper way to do sit up salutes with this informative handout.

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5 Things I Wish I Had Known When Diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes

My diagnosis as a Type 2 diabetic caught me completely by surprise. I knew almost nothing about it and had to get up to speed on the disease, fast. Here’s a quick list of a few things I wish I had known immediately after getting off the phone with my doctor: Am I going to […]

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Exercise Guide: Push Ups

Learn the proper way to do push ups with this informative handout.

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How does exercise lower blood glucose levels?

Several ways. When you work out, your muscles use glycogen-a glucose source stored in muscle tissue-for energy. With prolonged exercise, the muscles take up glucose at an accelerated rate, turning to blood glucose once glycogen stores have been depleted. In addition, if you have type 2 diabetes and are overweight, exercise can help you lose […]

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How is diabetes managed?

1) Healthy eating: Why Eat Right? If you have diabetes, you will quickly learn that how you eat can have a significant impact on your ability to control your glucose. Certain foods will really elevate your glucose and make it hard to control your diabetes. Naturally, you want to avoid large amounts of concentrated sugars, […]

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What’s up with diabetes and my feet?

Diabetes often comes with other complications that affect your body’s ability to fight infections. Circulatory damage to your blood vessels means that less blood and oxygen is traveling to your feet. Nerve damage means that you might not be able to feel an injury or uncomfortable pressure on the skin of your foot. Together, this […]

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If I have diabetes, does that mean I’ll be on meds forever?

Not necessarily. Sometimes changing your diet, losing weight and increasing your activity level can control type 2. “Since overeating and a sedentary lifestyle can increase the risk of diabetes, interventions that reduce or improve these factors can almost always improve blood sugar levels,” says David M. Nathan, M.D., director of the Diabetes Center at Massachusetts […]

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What is the treatment for prediabetes?

Treatment consists of losing a modest amount of weight (5-10 percent of total body weight) through diet and moderate exercise, such as walking, 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week. Don’t worry if you can’t get to your ideal body weight. A loss of just 10 to 15 pounds can make a huge difference. […]

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What should my blood glucose levels test at?

Everyone has individual goals for diabetes management. You should work with your doctor to set your target goals for self-monitored blood glucose levels. However, the American Diabetes Association suggests the following general guidelines for people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes*: Fasting or before meals (preprandial) – 90 to 130 mg/dl (5.0 to 7.2 […]

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Now that I have diabetes, do I need to change the shoes I wear?

Amputation and foot ulceration are the most common consequences of diabetic neuropathy, and major causes of morbidity and disability in people with diabetes. With regards to diabetic products, it is advisable to wear well-fitted walking shoes or athletic shoes. The goal is to avoid shoes that pinch or rub or place undue pressure on any […]

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I really hate to exercise. What are some ways to manage my diabetes without exercise?

I wish I could tell you otherwise, but exercise is vital to managing your diabetes and staying healthy. There’s no way around it – but it doesn’t have to be torture! One way to sustain momentum is to make sure there’s enough pleasure in your life while you take the time and effort to build […]

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I hate to exercise. Can I just eat right and skip the exercise to avoid diabetes?

Sorry, no. Exercise is vital. It not only helps to keep your weight down, but it also assists your body in the maximum utilization of the foods you eat. But, remember that exercise is not just that hour of sweating at the gym. It’s also all the movement you do throughout the day that can […]

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Exercise & Fitness Handout

Being active offers huge benefits to everyone, especially persons with diabetes. Here are some frequently asked questions about exercise and fitness.

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Could I have pre-diabetes and not know it?

Yes, it’s possible. 79 million people in the United States (including 50% of all adults over 65 years of age) have pre-diabetes. Pre-diabetes is when your body either doesn’t make enough insulin or cannot use the insulin it makes as effectively. As a result, your blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not yet […]

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What are the causes of high blood sugars (hyperglycemia)?

Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugars, can be a serious complication of diabetes. It can have many causes, including, but not limited to: eating too much or too many simple carbohydrates, i.e. doughnuts, candy lack of exercise illness stress not taking medication properly medication side effect, such as prednisone or antibiotics expired medication – efficacy tends […]

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Chicken or Egg?

Which came first, the extra weight or the Type 2 Diabetes? There is a prevailing opinion that fat people get Type 2 Diabetes *because* they are fat. At the same time, there’s plenty of evidence that Type 2 Diabetes is an inherited genetic disorder of the metabolic system that is progressive. Why is it so […]

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Can I do anything to prevent diabetes?

Yes, try to achieve a healthful weight, stay physically active and eat a nutritious diet.

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I’ve just been diagnosed with diabetes and I was too embarrassed to ask my doctor to really explain what this disease is. Can you tell me more about the disease?

If you have been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes your pancreas is not able to produce the hormone, insulin, which is needed to control your blood sugar. You’ll need to take insulin every day. Currently, insulin is only given by injection. You’ll also need to follow a meal plan, exercise and test your blood sugar.

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Is a cure for diabetes on the horizon?

Though there is currently no cure for diabetes, a great deal of research is being performed all over the world. For now, the medical community is emphasizing the need to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes in people by emphasizing good nutrition, physical activity and healthy weight.

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My doctor is starting me on medication. Is that all I have to do to control my diabetes?

No. Medication helps, but if you have diabetes you still need to manage your food intake to create a balance between medication, food, and activity. You also need to test your blood sugar level one or more times a day to ensure your treatment plan is working. Diabetes is a self-managed disease. In other words, […]

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Exercise Guide: Leg Raises

Learn the proper way to do leg raises with this informative handout.

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Exercise Guide: Push Ups on Bar

Learn the proper way to do push ups on a bar with this informative handout.

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Appointment Journal

People forget things after their appointments. This form helps you remember what you and your doctor discuss.

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News

If you miss eating rice, here’s some good news!

If you are trying to choose foods with a low glycemic index (GI) to help you control your blood sugar, you may have been advised to avoid white rice. White rice is often mentioned in lists of high GI foods, along with white potatoes, pasta, and white breads.

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Sneaky Bad Habits – Have any of these crept into your self-management?

There’s no way around the fact that no matter your prescribed treatment, managing a chronic illness such as diabetes is a lot of work. It’s a 24 hours a day, 365 (or 366) days per year occupation. Sometimes, the with the amount of attention diabetes requires, bad habits and shortcuts might start drifting in to […]

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Portion control a problem? Try switching plates!

Plate color, that is. No jokes here. A recently published research study looked at the way plate color impacted the choices participants made regarding food. Participants were given a plate that either closely matched the color of the food served, or contrasted with the food. They were then invited to serve themselves however much they […]

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Healthy Eating is Cheaper than You Think!

Thinking about changing what you eat can be intimidating. After all, few of us have the luxury of planning meals based solely on what we want to eat. There are other people’s tastes to consider, what’s available at the store when we go… and of course, the price. Food costs have been going up, and […]

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Veggies looking unappetizing? Try changing beverages!

“Finish your vegetables!” Those three words are enough to make a lot of people wince. Some people just don’t like vegetables at all, right? If you don’t like the taste of vegetables, what are you supposed to do to eat healthy? A recent study published in the journal Appetite suggests that the first thing you […]

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Low HDL may raise diabetic nephropathy risk

HDL, or high-density lipoproteins, are a form of cholesterol. HDL is often referred to as the “good cholesterol,” since many studies have suggested that higher levels of HDL may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Low-density lipoproteins, LDL, are the form of cholesterol that can build up in the arteries, raising the risk of […]

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How Dense is Your Diet?

Most of us have heard that we should eat a diet rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein, while limiting our intake of fats and and added sugar. In 2010, the USDA released a set of dietary recommendations for all Americans that included this advice, adding that we should all try to eat […]

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Watching your sugar intake isn’t enough: How high fat consumption can raise blood sugar

Obesity is well known for increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes, as is the fact that a high fat diet can contribute to obesity. But a new study conducted by the University of Michigan Health System has revealed that the link between consuming foods high in fat and diabetes goes even deeper.

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Why we can always make room for dessert

Has this ever happened to you? You ate a good, sensible, balanced breakfast. You feel satisfied. Then you get to work, and the first thing you see is that your coworker brought in a box of fresh doughnuts. Suddenly, you don’t feel full anymore. In fact, you feel like you’ve got plenty of room for […]

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Low HDL may raise diabetic nephropathy risk

HDL, or high-density lipoproteins, are a form of cholesterol. HDL is often referred to as the “good cholesterol,” since many studies have suggested that higher levels of HDL may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Low-density lipoproteins, LDL, are the form of cholesterol that can build up in the arteries, raising the risk of […]

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Love your heart – aerobic exercise comes with added benefits for those with diabetes

Most of us have heard that exercise is good for the heart; regular aerobic exercise like swimming, jogging, and biking can strengthen the heart and improve cardiac function. Now it appears that the same aerobic exercise that is good for everyone’s heart gives an added benefit to people with diabetes.

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Why your wallet will love your exercise routine

If you need extra motivation to start the exercise regimen your doctor has been recommending, keep in mind that some sweating now can really pay off later in life – financially as well as physically. Researchers at University of Texas-Southwestern Medical Center and the Cooper Institute, both in Dallas, decided to look at the impact […]

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Can’t Make Time to Exercise Every Day? Don’t let that stop you from reaping the same benefits!

Most of us have heard that daily exercise is a healthy way can help people with type 2 diabetes manage their blood sugar. The ADA recommends that people with diabetes get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise five or more days per week. Easy, right? Well, it sounds like it should be, but as […]

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Don’t resist resistance training

If you’re currently doing regular aerobic exercise, but are skipping the gym’s weight room, you may be missing out on some important benefits that can help you achieve or maintain a healthy weight. Researchers at the University for Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology in Hall in Tirol, Austria recently published the results of their […]

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Type 2 Diabetes and the Blame Game

A recent editorial in Diabetes Health hit me hard – the article described one woman’s experience with confronting feelings that she was being blamed for her diabetes (you can read her article at the link below). One of my good friends received a diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes recently, after having been prediabetic for many […]

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Poor glycemic control tied to symptoms of depression

There has been a lot of buzz in diabetes research lately about the connection between diabetes and depression. Multiple studies have shown that people with diabetes are more likely to suffer from depression than those without diabetes; now researchers are focusing on the specifics of the connection so that they can design better treatments for […]

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What are you taking?

Due to the rapid increase in the rate of diabetes in the United States, there has been a lot of healthcare research focused on finding the best way to provide quality care in the most cost-efficient manner possible. One recent study looked at the prescriptions type 2 diabetes patients are receiving when they first start […]

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Taking your medication pays off

If you are taking multiple medications every day, keeping to your regimen can be a big challenge. But taking all of your medications as your doctor instructed is one of the biggest factors in staying in control of your diabetes and reducing your risk of complications. The payoff for medication adherence can be huge; an […]

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Sneaky Bad Habits – Have any of these crept into your self-management?

There’s no way around the fact that no matter your prescribed treatment, managing a chronic illness such as diabetes is a lot of work. It’s a 24 hours a day, 365 (or 366) days per year occupation. Sometimes, the with the amount of attention diabetes requires, bad habits and shortcuts might start drifting in to […]

Read More »

Don’t lose your mind! Poor glucose management can lead to brain volume loss late in life.

Here’s yet another reason to stick to your blood glucose self-management regimen: poor control over your blood glucose can result in brain atrophy – basically, your brain shrinking in volume. Brain atrophy happens as a result of the loss of cells, and its exact effects vary depending on where the cells are lost. Regardless of […]

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More reasons not to postpone your eye exam

Diabetic retinopathy, damage to the retinas caused by high blood sugar that can cause vision loss, is a major concern for all persons with diabetes. Getting an eye exam is a vital part of routine health care if you have diabetes, and newly published research suggests that retinopathy is not the only concern.

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Nerve damage, vision loss, kidney disease: Diabetes complications can start sooner than you think

Loss of vision, nerve damage in the feet and hands, eye disease, kidney disease? Not me. These are complications that can happen to people who have had diabetes a long time, not newbies, right?! A new study suggests this common belief may be dead wrong and that even patients with newly diagnosed diabetes may experience […]

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Can the “gift of life” give back?

On their home page, the American Red Cross invites you to “Give the gift that everyone wants but money can’t buy” by donating blood. New research is suggesting that regular blood donation may give back to the donor as well. Yes, giving blood that may save someone’s life can provide anyone with an emotional lift. […]

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Is it time to reassess early treatment of Type 2 Diabetes?

If you were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the past decade, you are probably familiar with the “stepwise” approach to confronting the condition. This stepwise approach, currently the standard in healthcare, encourages blood glucose control through lifestyle changes first. For example, the American Diabetes Association recommends that newly diagnoses diabetics be treated with a […]

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Special concerns: Diabetes and post-surgical infections

You may already be aware that people with diabetes are at high risk for bacterial and fungal infections of the skin. This is one of the reasons foot care is so essential if you have diabetes; the combination of poor circulation and nerve damage make it easy to injure your feet without noticing, or to […]

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Low HDL may raise diabetic nephropathy risk

HDL, or high-density lipoproteins, are a form of cholesterol. HDL is often referred to as the “good cholesterol,” since many studies have suggested that higher levels of HDL may help reduce the risk of heart disease. Low-density lipoproteins, LDL, are the form of cholesterol that can build up in the arteries, raising the risk of […]

Read More »

When was your last eye exam?

The diabetes epidemic is concerning in and of itself, but it also may be driving large spikes in related health problems as well. A group of researchers sponsored jointly by the National Eye Institute and Prevent Blindness America just released their analysis of the rates health conditions that threaten vision in the United States. They […]

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Preventing complications goes beyond watching your blood sugar

Watching your blood pressure is a good idea for anyone, but is especially important for those with diabetes. High blood pressure (hypertension) and high cholesterol are two of the most common conditions that are comorbid with diabetes; according to the CDC, about 13 percent of U.S. adults are living with a combination of two of […]

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Insulin and CVD Risk – Myth Busted!

Any time you are prescribed a new medicine, it is normal and healthy to be concerned about potential side effects – especially if it is something you are likely to be taking long-term. If you’ve been prescribed insulin, or have looked into the possibility, you may have heard that one of the potential side effects […]

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The key to raising low testosterone levels may begin with a “kiss!”

Testosterone is a very important hormone, and it gets a lot of press.  It’s often known as the male hormone, and the majority of the hormone in men is produced in the testes.  Testosterone has some important functions in women as well, but recent health research has largely focused on men, and a recent publication […]

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Beyond Blood Sugar: Is it time to expand the focus of diabetes care?

What would you say is your health care provider’s main focus in treating you for diabetes? If you are like most diabetics in the United States, you probably answered something fairly close to “preventing complications by managing your blood sugar, cholesterol levels, and/or your blood pressure.”

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Finding the right age to start regular colonoscopies

Preliminary results from a small study suggest that patients with type 2 diabetes may need to begin regular colonoscopies sooner than their peers. In a colonoscopy, a doctor uses a camera attached to the end of a long, thin, flexible tube to examine the walls of the large intestine. During this procedure, any polyps (small […]

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