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Importance of Self-monitoring
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Exercise

Image showing how blood glucose levels change with exercise

How blood glucose levels change with exercise
Generally, exercise will make you feel better and improve your overall health. Exercise can help lower your blood glucose levels and control your weight, and lowers your risk of heart disease. It makes your body more sensitive to natural or injected insulin - which is good - but can increase the likelihood of blood glucose levels falling too low (hypoglycemia). The benefits, of course, far outweigh the risks.

When you exercise, watch out for:

  • Hypoglycemia, which usually occurs gradually. Listen to your body. If you sweat more than usual, feel shaky or anxious, or hungry, stop exercising and follow your doctor's advice about hypoglycemia. You may need to eat candy or drink a glass of juice to get blood glucose back into the Diabetes Safe Zone.
  • Dehydration, or the lack of enough fluid in the body. During exercise, your body uses more fluid to keep you cool. By the time you feel thirsty, you may already be dehydrated. Dehydration affects your blood glucose level. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise.
  • High or low blood glucose levels before exercise. Self-monitor your blood glucose before exercising, and wait until levels are within the Diabetes Safe Zone before starting, particularly in very hot or cold conditions.

Your exercise checklist

  1. Ask your doctor about the right exercise for you.
  2. Check your feet for blisters or sores before and after exercising.
  3. Self-monitor blood glucose before and after exercising.
  4. Have a snack handy in case your blood glucose level drops too low

Regular monitoring helps you spot patterns to try to avoid high and low blood glucose, reduce complications of diabetes, and help control your diabetes.

   
 

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