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Safely Exercising with Neuropathy

On September 25 – 28, 2014, the Super Run Classic Car Show is coming to nearby Henderson, Nevada. More than a thousand classic, vintage, hot rod, and muscle cars will flood downtown Henderson for an extended weekend. This is a great excuse to take a walk and enjoy a day out. It’s also a way to get exercise—though if you have diabetic neuropathy, make sure you take care of your feet.

Exercise is an important part of maintaining your health when you have diabetes. It helps your body use insulin, burns body fat, improves circulation, builds muscle, and strengthens bones. All of this helps combat diabetic foot complications. Even if you have neuropathy, which increases your risk for injuries that could become ulcers, keeping fit is good for you—but you need to do so carefully.

There are some activities you should avoid when you have neuropathy. Anything with repetitive hard impacts is bad for your feet. The regular, intense pressure may create blistersstress fractures, or other problems that are likely to deteriorate quickly. This means running, jumping, long distance walking, and lifting heavy weights are not good activities for you.

Instead, invest your time in an alternative activity that is more diabetic foot-friendly. Low-impact, moderate weight-bearing exercises are best. They increase your heart rate and benefit your muscles and bones without putting too much pressure on your lower limbs. Water aerobics, cycling, chair work outs, light weight lifting, and walking shorter distances are all good options.

Whatever you choose to do, make sure you warm up and take it slow. Do activity in moderate temperatures and stay hydrated throughout. If you know you’ll be active for a while, bring a long a snack to make sure your blood sugar levels don’t drop dangerously low.

Of course, you need to make sure your feet are well-protected when you’re active. Wear appropriate footwear to support and cushion your lower limbs. You may need custom orthotics to stabilize and correct biomechanical issues. Your socks are important, too—wear fitted, moisture-wicking pairs to help protect against friction and fungal infections.

If you have diabetes and already struggle with neuropathy, you can still exercise. You just need to take steps to stay safe. Done right, the benefits outweigh possible complications. Let our team at Absolute Foot Care Specialists in Las Vegas help you get started. Just call (702) 839-2010 to reach us.

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