Many people with diabetes have reservations about exercise because of their neuropathy. But this shouldn’t be as exercise provides several health benefits for diabetics. These include improved control over your blood glucose levels, reduced pain and tension in your lower body, and enhanced mood via stress management.
Indeed, physical activity makes your health condition more manageable. But before you plan your exercise program, here are a few things that you should know. These things pertain to staying active even with neuropathy.
Talk to Your Doctor First
Your doctor is the first person that you should consult before starting or continuing your exercise program. You can plan your exercise program based on the health information provided by your doctor, such as:
- Other health risk factors, such as another underlying medical condition or injury
- Possible capabilities and limitations resulting from your neuropathy
You may be asked to stay off certain types of exercises or movements depending on the effects of neuropathy on your body. A few of these effects are muscle weakness, numbness, loss of sensation, pain, tingling, and a loss of body position awareness. You may, for example, avoid running exercises as it can affect the normal functioning of your feet, ankles and legs.
Get into the Right Cardio
But don’t become easily frustrated. You may be unable to engage in cardio involving your lower limbs, such as jogging and brisk walking, but you have other options. You can try water aerobics and swimming at YMCA, among other places, since these are low-impact exercises.
You can discuss your options in a cardio program. Your personal trainer will have several ideas like stationary biking and using an ergometer for the upper body. You can also perform seated exercises to protect your feet while still getting your exercise.
Check Your Feet
Unfortunately, neuropathy can result in pain or numbness in your feet. You will likely be unable to feel when a sore, blister or wound is forming on one or both your feet. Your exercise program will not only be adversely affected but your overall health can be affected, too.
The good news is that there are plenty of things you can do to get the most out of exercise even with neuropathy.
- Wear the right footwear for the exercise. Pair it with clean socks, too.
- Check your feet on a daily basis for sores, ulcers or blisters.
- Consult with your doctor about the right treatments.
Your vigilance in these matters will contribute to your enjoyment of the benefits that come with regular exercise.