The benefits of exercise for persons with diabetes—or practically any other disease, for that matter—cannot be emphasized. Exercise can help you lose weight, control your blood pressure, lower bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, boost beneficial HDL cholesterol, strengthen your muscles and bones, reduce anxiety, and improve your overall health.
Many studies have emphasized these and other advantages of exercise. The following are some of the most important findings:
In general, one to three hours after eating is the optimal time to exercise because your blood sugar level is likely to be greater. It's critical to test your blood sugar before exercising if you use insulin. If your blood sugar level is below 100 mg/dL before exercising, a piece of fruit or a little snack will help you raise it and avoid hypoglycemia. If your blood sugar level is stable after 30 minutes, repeat the test. Checking your blood sugar after a particularly strenuous workout or activity is also a good idea. If you're on insulin, the risk of hypoglycemia is highest six to twelve hours after you exercise. Experts also advise against exercising if your blood sugar is extremely high (above 250), because activity can cause blood sugar levels to rise even higher.
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