Diabetes Agent > Common Concerns & Issues about Diabetes

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.


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Videos

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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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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Elizabeth Engaging in Exercise

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

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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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Dave Engaging in Exercise

Dave talks about opportunities to refocus his attention on health and 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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Tools & Resources

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Exercise Guide: Sit Up Salutes

Learn the proper way to do sit up salutes 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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Exercise Guide: Modified Push-Ups

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

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Exercise Guide: Push Ups

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

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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: Squats

Learn the proper way to do squats 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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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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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 Guide: Dips

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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Does having diabetes affect your interest in sex?

Yes, diabetes can impact the sex drive and performance of both men and women. Erectile dysfunction (ED; also known as impotence) may occur as a result of nerve or blood vessel damage associated with diabetes. In addition, emotional factors such as depression and stress that can be associated with diabetes may affect libido.

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How does my blood sugar affect my mood?

Studies have shown a relationship to chocolate and mood. There is a chemical in chocolate that stimulates the release of endorphins in the brain, creating feelings of well-being and calm. So, how does this relate to diabetes? Well, fluctuations in blood sugars or sugars that are out of range can contribute to unexplained mood swings, […]

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What are some of the symptoms of women’s sexual health issues related to diabetes?

Lack of interest in sex (libido), pain or discomfort during intercourse, and decreased production of vaginal lubrication, to name a few.

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I have type 1 diabetes and need help finding life insurance.

People with T1D may encounter difficulties obtaining life insurance. It may be necessary to do some individual research to find a company that will provide you with a policy. While JDRF does not keep lists of companies that offer life insurance to people with type 1 diabetes, we can offer some direction to help you […]

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Diabetes Medical Alerts

Without question, Type 1 Diabetics should wear some sort of medical alert bracelet or necklace at all times. Type 2′s on insulin should as well. The dangers of going low, or hypo, are just too great and you see news stories all the time of hypo diabetics being confused for a drunk and not given […]

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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 […]

Read More »

Appointment Journal

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

Read More »

Diabetes and Sex: What’s the 411?

Good, juicy question! First, the good news: many, many people with diabetes enjoy a healthy sex life with their partners, despite the challenges caused by the disease. Like any other complication, sexual issues require awareness, communication with your doctor, and a good plan to lower their incidence. Sex is an important part of life and […]

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How does smoking affect my diabetes?

It is commonly known that smoking has many negative effects on the body, including, but not limited to: lung disease, premature infant births with low body weight, damage to the circulatory system, high blood pressure, and cancers of the mouth and respiratory tract. Effects on the circulatory system include constriction of the blood vessels in […]

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News

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.”

Read More »

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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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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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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Diabetes self-managment – a family affair?

Having the support of family and friends can make just about anything a little easier to deal with, but the reverse is also true. Not having that support when you really need it can make things that much more difficult, and a recent study performed by researchers at Vanderbilt University demonstrated just how problematic the […]

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Legislating for better diabetes care

Legislators in Washington, D.C. have introduced a bill that, if passed, will create the National Diabetes Clinical Care Commission: an organization that would aim to address the diabetes epidemic by coordinating and concentrating national efforts to research, understand, prevent, and treat the condition.

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Traveling by air? Here’s what you need to know.

Traveling by air can be a hassle for anyone these days, and if you are living with diabetes, there are additional challenges – making sure you have enough of your medications, figuring out where to eat, keeping to your monitoring routine (help with those below the jump) – all on top of sometimes frustrating screening […]

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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 […]

Read More »

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 […]

Read More »

Diabetes in the bedroom

Sex and sexual difficulties are tough to approach. Bringing intimate matters out for frank, clinical discussion can make a lot of people uncomfortable, whether the discussion is with a partner or a member of their health care team. But when these discussions are avoided, there’s no way to learn about treatments that can help. It’s […]

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Are teens getting the lifestyle message?

According to recent research, more than half of them are not. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) just released information collected from 6,911 girls and 6,970 boys between the ages of 11 and 17, showing that less of half of these teens were advised by their doctor to eat healthily and get plenty […]

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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.”

Read More »

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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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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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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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 […]

Read More »