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Community Q&A: Diabetic Patients’ Questions and Answers

I have an elderly relative with limited mobility who has diabetes. Any suggestions for exercises that can help them stay active?

For an elderly relative with limited mobility and diabetes, there are exercises that can help them stay active while considering their specific needs. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Seated exercises: Encourage your relative to perform exercises while sitting in a sturdy chair. These can include leg lifts, toe taps, and seated marching. These exercises help improve circulation, maintain muscle strength, and promote flexibility.
  2. Range of motion exercises: Gentle range of motion exercises can be done while sitting or lying down. These involve moving the joints through their full range of motion to improve flexibility and prevent stiffness. Examples include wrist rotations, shoulder rolls, and ankle circles.
  3. Chair yoga: Look for chair yoga classes or videos specifically designed for seniors. Chair yoga incorporates gentle movements, stretches, and breathing exercises that can enhance strength, balance, and relaxation.
  4. Resistance band exercises: Resistance bands are flexible and can provide resistance for strengthening exercises. Your relative can use them while sitting or lying down to perform exercises such as bicep curls, shoulder presses, and leg extensions. Start with light resistance and gradually increase as tolerated.
  5. Water exercises: If possible, consider water-based exercises. Swimming or water aerobics can be beneficial for individuals with limited mobility as water provides buoyancy, reducing stress on the joints. It also offers resistance, which helps build strength.
  6. Walking or marching in place: Encourage your relative to engage in simple walking or marching movements while holding onto a sturdy surface for support. This can be done indoors or outdoors, depending on their comfort level.

Remember, it’s crucial to consult your relative’s healthcare provider before starting any new exercise program, especially if they have diabetes. The healthcare provider can offer personalized guidance and help determine the most suitable exercises based on their individual needs and capabilities.

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