Athletes like Billie Jean King and Jay Cutler know how hard playing a demanding sport can be. When you add on the extra challenge of doing that with diabetes, like they do, it becomes even more of a feat. Diabetic exercising can be difficult because of conditions like numb feet associated with the disease. We don’t expect you to be a tennis star or a football quarterback, but you can (and should!) still exercise with diabetes.
One of the most common complications due to diabetes is neuropathy. This occurs when your nerves become damaged, often resulting in a numb or tingling feeling in your limbs, including your feet. This can be a problem for many reasons, for instance you may not feel an injury until it’s too late. It can also make it difficult to be on your feet for long periods of time, especially when trying to work out. However, exercise can help to reduce symptoms like numb feet by encouraging blood flow.
There are four types of exercise recommended to stay healthy, and they can easily be modified to fit your needs (always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen). Done safely, diabetic exercising can be a great way to manage your disease and live an active lifestyle.
- Cardio or aerobic exercise gets your heart rate up, which helps burn fat and calories and maintain a healthy weight. Swimming and cycling have less impact than running, and walking is a great option too.
- Strength training helps build muscle and flexibility. Try calf raises with light weights.
- Balance exercises are good because they can help provide stability if you are struggling with numb feet. Standing alternating knee raises are good for this.
- Stretching is essential in any fitness routine.
If you’d like more information on exercising safely with diabetes, call Dr. Viedra Elison at (623) 584-5556 to schedule an appointment today. You can also visit us online or at Fixing Feet Institute in Surprise, AZ.