People with diabetes can run and engage in regular exercise, but it’s important to do it safely. Here are certain precautions to keep in mind.
Diabetes is a growing health concern in India with over a million living with this chronic metabolic condition and the numbers continue to rise. Diet and healthy lifestyle should be the first goal for those suffering from diabetes. While keeping your food habits in control, one should also focus on exercise and a workout regime. Well, there is a belief that running is not a suitable physical activity for diabetics. However, that’s false. Running is an effective exercise that can help in keeping the body fit and healthy. Regular physical activity can help improve blood sugar control, reduce the risk of complications and contribute to overall well-being for individuals with diabetes. People with diabetes can run and engage in regular exercise, but it’s important to do it safely. Here are certain precautions to keep in mind.
Tips for Managing Blood Sugar During Runs
- Consult a Healthcare Professional: Before starting any exercise program, especially if you have diabetes, it’s important to consult with your doctor. They can provide personalised recommendations based on your specific health status and needs.
- Monitor Blood Sugar Levels: People with diabetes should regularly monitor their blood sugar levels, both before and after exercise. This helps ensure that exercise doesn’t cause excessively low (hypoglycemia) or high (hyperglycemia) blood sugar levels. Adjust your insulin or medication as recommended by your healthcare provider.
- Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is important for all runners, but it’s especially crucial for people with diabetes. Dehydration can affect blood sugar control, so drink enough water before, during and after your run.
- Carry necessary supplies: If you are on insulin or other diabetes medications, carry essential supplies like glucose tablets, a blood glucose meter, and any necessary medications with you during your run in case of emergencies.
- Timing of meals and medication: The timing of meals and medications is critical when planning a run. Depending on your medication and meal plan, you may need to adjust your pre-exercise meals or insulin to prevent hypoglycemia during or after running.
- Start Slowly And Build Gradually: If you’re new to running, start with short and easy runs, and gradually increase the duration and intensity of your workouts. This can help you learn from your body’s response to exercise and manage your blood sugar effectively.
- Choose appropriate Footwear: Proper footwear is essential to reduce the risk of foot problems, which can be a concern for some people with diabetes. Ensure that your running shoes fit well and provide proper support.
- Listen to your body: Be aware of how your body feels during exercise. If you experience symptoms like dizziness, extreme fatigue, irregular heartbeats, or severe changes in blood sugar levels, stop exercising and seek medical attention.