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Flexibility, Balance and Mobility

Stretching exercises focus on improving flexibility, enhancing posture and helping you gain confidence in balance and mobility, which reduces the risk of injury.

Perform stretches for all of the major muscles, such as your legs, chest, back and shoulders. These exercises can be performed daily or at least four times per week.
Perform all exercises in a slow, controlled manner. Hold all of the stretches for 10 to 30 seconds without bouncing.
Do stretches after the body has been warmed up, such as after a walk or hot shower.
Neuropathy, a complication of diabetes, tends to shorten muscles. If you have neuropathy, you have a greater challenge to preserve flexibility, and it is even more important to stretch!
Special Precautions

Before exercise, if your blood glucose concentration is less than 80 to 100 mg/dl, eat carbohydrates (bagels, crackers, etc.). If it is above 250 mg/dl, delay exercise until it is below 250 mg/dl.
Eat additional carbohydrates after exercising to prevent hypoglycemia.
If you have severe retinopathy or hypertension, low-impact exercises such as walking, bicycling and swimming are advised.
If you have neuropathy or atherosclerosis, you should be vigilant in checking your feet after exercise.

Wear supportive shoes and socks made of natural fibers (like cotton or wool) to allow the skin to breathe. If you develop corns, calluses, swelling, sores or places that are red or pale, see a foot doctor (podiatrist).

In case of an emergency, exercise with someone who can help.

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