The Diabetic Walker

Our diabetic physicians tell us that we have to exercise – get up and move our bodies daily. The reason is that physical activity improves insulin sensitivity and helps bring blood glucose levels into the normal range. People with type 2 diabetes can reap the health benefits by engaging in moderate exercise as little as two-and-one-half hours per week.

There are a few safety rules we need to seriously follow. I am a Type 2 Diabetic and I am a healthy walker and believe you may be able to accomplish this exercise activity as well. Some diabetics have diminished sensation in their legs and are at risk for developing foot sores. We need to take extra precautions when we walk. Did you know that approximately 15% diabetics will develop a foot ulcer and damage to their feet nerves? Before and after you take your walk, take off your shoes and socks and examine your feet for redness, sores and bruises. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your “foot doctor”. Your insoles may need to be adjusted or you may need to add bandages to prevent such things happening to you. Also, your walking path may be causing harm to your feet. Are you walking on concrete, rocks, climbing hills? You may have to change your walking path. Do you have properly fitted shoes by a specialty shoe store? Are you shoestrings laced correctly?
If you have foot ulcers, etc, you must get your doctors permission to continue your walking exercise program. Proper footwear is essential. Some times your foot doctor will order in-soles for your walking shoes. People with reduced sensation in their feet should inspect their feet closely for blisters and other potential damage before and after exercising. By all means, once your doctor(s) say you can benefit from a walking program, start slow -one step at a time. 
This is not a competitive race – it is a race to benefit your life.

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