(HealthDay News) -- Having diabetes need not confine you to the couch or park bench. But before you begin an exercise program, speak with your doctor.

The American Diabetes Association offers these suggestions before you start working out:

  • Talk to your doctor about any physical problems, including chest pain, or bone or joint problems.
  • Talk to your doctor about how exercise may affect your medications.
  • Track your progress; keep an exercise log or use a pedometer.
  • Set realistic goals as part of your exercise plan.
  • Always have water and a snack on hand, and make sure you stay hydrated.
  • Wear a medical ID tag that identifies you as diabetic.