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Exercise and diabetes complications

Even if you have diabetes you can exercise as much as anyone else. However, it is important to take into account any factors related to the condition before starting your exercise regime.

The complications related to diabetes are rarely a contraindication for individually planned exercise where any potential restrictions have been taken into consideration. If you're just beginning to engage in physical activity and haven't exercised in the past, or are planning to significantly increase your level of exercise compared to before, it's advisable to consult with your doctor and nurse before starting. The doctor evaluates potential risks of exercise, especially for someone who has had diabetes for an extended period. The nurse offers advice on how to prepare for physical activity with adjustments in eating or insulin.

Shortness of breath or chest pains and arrhythmias during exertion suggest coronary artery disease or heart failure. It's important to investigate these with a doctor's examination and a stress test. For someone who has been ill for a longer time, it's beneficial to evaluate the heart's condition with a stress test.

Changes in the nervous system controlling your internal organs expose you to changes in blood pressure and perspiration disorders. If the sensation in the feet is reduced, strong impacts to the feet and jumping should be avoided.

Strenuous endurance or strength training is a contraindication if you have severe diabetic retinopathy.

Protein in the urine or moderate renal failure does not prevent a reasonable, gradually increasing exercise routine. You should go through a stress test before starting a strenuous exercise routine.

Daily washing and moisturising, keeping your nails suitably short and wearing socks and proper shoes that fit well and do not chafe are simple yet important factors in preventing chafing and sores.

Updated 30.9.2023