Exercise is critical for people living with diabetes

Exercise is critical for people living with diabetes

Forrest City Medical Center highlights healthy choices for National Physical Fitness Month

FCMC Marketing Director FORREST CITY — May is National Physical Fitness Month, but for many people starting an exercise routine can seem daunting especially if they have health conditions that lead to inactivity, such as diabetes.

There are an estimated 30.3 million people in the United States with diabetes. Physical activity can help manage and prevent diabetes. When a person is active, cells inside the body become more sensitive to insulin. Cells also remove glucose from the blood during exercise.

“Consistently exercising can help lower blood glucose levels and improve A1C. With a lower A1C, patients may be able to take fewer diabetes medications or less insulin,” says D. Scott Covington, MD, FACS, CHWS, executive vice president, provider education and engagement for Healogics.

The Wound Care Center at Forrest City Medical Center offers these exercise tips to people living with diabetes.

• Before starting an exercise program, talk with your health care professional regarding any concerns or complications.

• Check blood glucose before and after exercise to learn how your body responds. Those at risk for low blood glucose should have a source of carbohydrates nearby while exercising.

• Since dehydration is often an issue with diabetes, it is important to drink water early and frequently when exercising.

• For diabetics with reduced sensation, prolonged walking, jogging, using a treadmill and step exercises are not recommended. Instead, try swimming, bicycling, rowing, chair and arm exercises and other non-weight bearing activities.

• Proper footwear is essential. The use of silica gel or air midsoles, as well as polyester or cotton/polyester socks, will help prevent blisters and keep feet dry.

• There are many ways to increase physical activity besides formal exercise such as gardening, housecleaning and even marching in place or walking around the house during TV commercial breaks.

For more information about living a healthy life and exercising with diabetes, contact Forrest City Medical Center's Wound Care Center at 1601 Newcastle Road, or call 870-261-0080.

From Janet Benson