Staying dedicated to exercise may help control nerve pain or peripheral neuropathy. According to one study, people who took a brisk one-hour walk on a treadmill four times a week slowed how quickly their nerve damage worsened. The key is making exercise a regular part of your life with diabetes. But first, speak with your doctor to see which exercise is right for you.
Perform Low-Impact Exercise
Swimming or water aerobics can be gentle forms of exercise. Water supports your body, putting less pressure on feet affected by nerve pain. Yoga and tai chi may also be good choices. Their movements may help with balance and relaxation.
Overcome Fear and Start Slow
Starting exercise can be challenging. Make it easier by starting slowly. Try five minutes of extra movement a day and add a little more time each day. It is recommended to build up to 30 minutes a day, five days a week. If you have nerve damage and are concerned about falls, start with some moves to build your balance.
Work on Balance
Build your balance by practicing rising out of a chair. Do it three times in a row. At first you can use your arms to help and steady you. Work towards doing it unassisted. This is one of several moves to try to improve your balance.
Balance on One Leg
Slowly raise one foot off the ground so that you are standing on one leg. Try holding for 30 seconds, then switch. As you get better, try and balance for a little longer. You can practice this move most anywhere like at the sink in the morning, in line at the grocery store, or while talking on the phone. Your goal is to do this hands-free. In case you need to steady yourself, have a stable object nearby.
Before You Start Check With Your Doctor
Get your heart, eyes, and feet checked out by your doctor before starting a new form of exercise. After each workout look for injury to feet, and other areas prone to injury. When you have diabetes blisters, cracks, cuts, and scrapes should be treated with extra care to avoid infections.
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