How does exercise help people with diabetes stay healthy?

Not only does exercise make you feel and look good, it improves blood flow and muscle tone. It can even help you handle stress. Aerobic exercise gives your heart and lungs an especially good workout. It makes your heart pump harder and gets the blood flowing through even your smallest blood vessels. This helps prevent the circulation and foot problems that people with diabetes can get. Walking is something that almost everyone can do and is very effective as an all-around exercise.

Exercise is an important part of staying healthy and controlling your blood glucose. Keep these points in mind:

Talk with your doctor about what types of exercise are safe for you. Make sure your shoes fit well and your socks stay clean and dry. Check your feet for redness or sores after exercising. Call your doctor if you have sores that do not heal. Warm up and stretch for 5 to 10 minutes before you exercise. Then, cool down for several minutes after you exercise. For example, walk slowly at first, stretch, and then walk faster. Finish up by walking slowly again. Ask your doctor whether you should exercise if your blood glucose level is high. Ask your doctor whether you should have a snack before you exercise. Know the signs of low blood glucose, also called hypoglycemia. Always carry food or glucose tablets to treat low blood glucose. Always wear your medical identification. Find an exercise buddy. Many people find they are more likely to do something active if a friend joins them. This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Exercise provides many benefits to people with diabetes, including reduced heart risks such as hypertension and high cholesterol, and improved insulin sensitivity. Watch the video to learn more about benefits of exercise.