People are pretty active around here, but if you’re on a couch or bench because you have diabetes, know this: you don’t have to just sit there – you can get moving too, and in fact you should! Exercise is one of the best things you can do for yourself if you’re living with diabetes. We understand that nerve pain and numbness, and fear of getting hurt can make even the thought of exercise unpleasant, but here’s the thing: the more you exercise, the more symptoms are reduced. That pain and numbness you feel is from nerve damage in your feet, but when you exercise, you improve circulation, and increased blood flow means blood can deliver damaged nerves the nutrients they need to heal. Nerves get happy and symptoms like burning, tingling, numbness, and pain no longer stick around. In addition, exercising with diabetes is a great way to maintain a healthy weight, and that’s good for you and your feet, too!
As for concern about injury, not to worry -- there are things you can do to protect yourself. Diabetic socks and shoes are designed with added cushion and durable features specifically to protect diabetic feet from harm. Remember, a proper fit is essential, too. Also, before starting an exercise routine, make sure your glucose levels are in control and the doctor has given you the go ahead. Start slowly with just a short walk, then add distance gradually. Low-impact exercises are best, so besides walking, you could choose swimming or yoga, for example.
If you do notice something bothering you, stop, and be sure to check your feet every day for signs of trouble -- blisters, calluses, redness, or anything else out of the ordinary. If you spot a problem, call us for an appointment right away so we can treat it before it gets worse. Dial (480) 963-9000 to reach our Gilbert or Chandler office for an appointment or for help on starting a diabetic exercise plan. We’ll do everything we can to ensure you live an active, safe, and healthy life with diabetes.