This article will discuss exercise risks for people with type 2 diabetes.
Not all diabetics need to undergo extensive evaluation before beginning exercise. Read below to find out about all pre cautions that you may need to take before beginning exercise
If you are a young and otherwise healthy diabetic (type 2), not on insulin or insulin secretagogue drugs , you exercise related risks are likely to be similar to any other individual similar to you. Even then you should take a PARQ test, to check your fitness for exercise and seek doctor’s advice if the test result suggests so
If however, you have long standing diabetes (more than 10 years) your disease is not well controlled (HbA1c>7) you should undergo the ‘Health check up for diabetics‘ and get your doctor’s advice before beginning exercise
Individuals with CAN should receive physician approval and possibly an exercise stress test before exercise initiation
If you have a foot injury or open sore or ulcer, you should stick to non weight bearing physical activity, seek your doctor’s advice
Individuals without acute foot ulcers can undertake moderate weight bearing exercise such as walking
Exercise training increases physical function in individuals with kidney disease and may even be undertaken during dialysis sessions but these patients may need exercise tolerance testing and cardiac evaluation before commencing with regular exercise
Individuals having advanced retinopathy (proliferative or preproliferative retinopathy or macular degeneration) should not do high-intensity exercises, head down activities or jumping or jarring activities, all of which increase the risk of retinal hemorrhage
It is important to undergo eye test including fundoscopy if your diabetes is long standing or uncontrolled or you have problems of vision before beginning exercise
Often older diabetics have CVD; they may have had angiography/angioplasty or even a heart attack. These people would presume their risk of exercise to be too high and try to stay away. But, in this group aerobic exercise is one of the few factors proven to be associated with better longer and more functional life.
Therefore exercise is especially helpful if you fall in this group, but you should start exercising under guidance of an expert team of your doctor and physical activity trainer in a monitored environment; such teams are hardly available with ease in India, but make sure to discuss with your doctor how you can pursue exercise
The risk of hypoglycemia (dangerously low blood sugar level) is negligible for diabetics who are not on insulin or drugs that cause hypoglycemia
If you are on insulin or anyone of these drugs, you should know how to look for and manage hypoglycemia
Most drugs prescribed for concomitant health problems do not affect exercise, with the exception of alpha blockers and some diuretics which are prescribed for high blood pressure and statins which are prescribed for lowering blood cholesterol
If you are on any of these, especially statins, watch out for severe muscle pain when you start exercising and consult your doctor if you get such pain
Hope this post has given you more confidence about getting on with exercise ! Read about ‘Exercise recommendations in diabetes‘ and check out ‘beginner’s guide to aerobic‘ and ‘strength training‘ and ‘HICT’ here
CHECK OUT: Our references for diabetes mellitus
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