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Question: I was just diagnosed with diabetes. In the education class, I learned that exercise is important to achieve optimal glucose control. I work full time and have a busy home schedule. How can I find time to exercise, especially when I am so tired after work?
Cheryl Armstrong, RN, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Centers, responds:
Exercise is critical in helping to manage blood glucose levels, but finding time to exercise can be a challenge. The recommendation is 30 minutes of daily activity. Even if you feel tired at the end of the day, exercise will actually make you feel better and give you more energy. The benefits of exercise include better blood glucose control, blood pressure and cholesterol. Exercise also promotes better sleep habits and helps with weight loss. With such a busy work and home schedule, try some of these tips to find time to exercise:
Exercise, however, can induce hypoglycemia (blood sugar below 70). If you experience symptoms such as shakiness, sweating, fast heartbeat, hunger or irritability, stop exercising immediately and treat. Treatment includes 15g of a fast-acting source of glucose such as 1/2 cup of juice. Follow up with a snack then retest your blood glucose to make sure you are back to a normal level. If you have two or more incidents of low blood sugar in one week, call your primary-care physician.
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For More Information
To learn more about Sharp's diabetes services or to find a Sharp-affiliated doctor, search for a San Diego endocrinologist or call 1-800-82-SHARP (1-800-827-4277), Monday through Friday, 8 am to 6 pm. To find general information about diabetes, visit Diabetes Care in Adult Health or read the Diabetes News archive.