Diabetes is a disease very familiar to podiatrist Kenneth R. Wilhelm, DPM. Many of our patients here at Clifton Foot & Ankle Center come in on a regular basis for diabetic foot care, such as full foot checks and nail clipping. Our patients know that even a small problem with their feet can easily and quickly turn disastrous because of the effects of diabetes. We’re here in Centreville, VA to prevent and treat diabetes-related problems of the feet.
However, there’s one treatment our patients know that we can’t give them or do for them, and that’s regular exercise. One of the best ways to effectively manage diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association, is with two specific kinds of exercise: aerobic and strength training.
What exercise does
The combination of aerobic exercise and strength training gives the diabetic numerous benefits:
- Helps insulin do its job better
- Keeps your blood sugar levels in check
- Counters the effects of bone loss that can lead to osteoporosis and fractures
- Builds muscle, which increases metabolism and can aid weight loss
Here are some examples of effective aerobic exercises that you can do at home, perhaps with a friend to help keep you motivated:
- Swimming (easy on the joints and a great complete-body workout)
- Ballroom dancing (also a great way to reconnect with your spouse!)
- Riding a bicycle or stationary bicycle (can be done while watching TV)
Strength training (or, resistance training)
This kind of training doesn’t have to involve large machines at the gym. You can strengthen muscles at home using nothing but your body by doing full-body squats, planks, lunges, and pushups. Other ways to build muscle include power bands (also called resistance bands) and lifting free weights.
Whenever you begin an exercise program, it’s a good idea to check in with your doctor to make sure that your regimen is safe. If you’re brand new to any kind of exercise, consult a coach for instruction on safety and proper form.
Feel better, look better, and control your blood glucose with regular exercise. And don’t forget to exercise your right to excellent diabetic foot care with Dr. Wilhelm. Make an appointment online or call us at (703) 996-3000 with all your foot-related questions and problems.