Regular exercise can create a 'win-win' situation for you and your carer (if applicable).
It can give you or maintain a degree of independence and where less mobile, extra strength can help your carer to manage you more easily.
Great benefit to body and soul
Exercise can provide tremendous benefits to both body and soul at any age. It is therefore important to ensure it is done properly and safely.
This is particularly relevant in cases where the body faces additional challenges, including those appearing in the later years of life.
People with diabetes may have other conditions which could affect their ability to exercise safely, so it is important that your doctor knows the level of physical activity you are planning.
Help maintain good blood glucose control
Regardless of any condition, regulated physical activity will improve your well being and will also help you to maintain good blood glucose control.
An optimal fitness programme as you grow older should include exercises that focus on restoring the strength, flexibility, and endurance that tend to be lost with ageing or age-related inactivity. It is also important to make the exercises functional to specifically help with everyday life.
All activities should be done with controlled movements, so as to avoid muscle strain and bone fractures.
- Stop if you feel pain and assess if you can safely resume, then reduce the intensity or range.
- Avoid exercising when you are acutely ill, including when suffering from a cold or flu.
- If your activity programme is interrupted for more than two weeks, begin again as in the 'Start-up' section.
Stop exercising and contact your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Muscle or joint pain that do not resolve with rest
- Chest pain or pressure
- Trouble breathing or excessive shortness of breath
- Light headedness, dizziness, or new difficulty balancing
Diabetes UK wishes to thank Steve Halls for his help in preparing this section.
Reviewed March 2010
Next review September 2011