Diabetes Mellitus, Nutrition & Exercise

It is very important that as a diabetic you get plenty of exercise. Along with exercise there is nutrition. Most of us non-diabetics out there think nothing of hopping on our bike and tool around the park. A person with diabetes needs to have more forethought in the activity. Those with diabetes should carry with them, at all times, a quick sugar(hard candy, raisins, glucose tablets, cliff shot, gatorade) and a longer lasting sugar with protein (package of peanut butter & crackers for example). A medic alert necklace or bracelet could be a life saver as well.
Before performing exercise it is a good idea to take your blood glucose level. Check it at least 30 minutes prior to exercising. If your glucose level is between 100-250mg/dl, then it is safe to exercise. If it is below 100mg/dl then you need to bump up your level before exercising. A snack like cheese and crackers would be good.
If you are planning a long vigorous bike ride you should intake 15g to 30g of carbohydrate every 30-60 minutes. If you are just getting back into shape, it would be a good idea to ingest at least 15 g every 30 to 60 minutes. It is also recommended, until you know how your body is going to react to exercise, to take your blood glucose level during exercise. As always, speak to a physician before partaking of a new exercise program. We are getting to the hotter months in St. Louis and your body starts to react to the heat and humidity.
During exercise if you become nervous, shaky, confused, or just don’t feel right stop! You may be experiencing hypoglycemia. Stop, take off your helmet, eat, drink, rest. It may also be helpful to put your head between your knees or raise your feet above the level of your heart. Do not perform any sudden movements as you may be unstable and could fall.

These are just a few tips, nothing replaces what your physician tells you.

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