Being Active with Diabetes

Fitness plays a special role for people with diabetes. Regular physical activity can have many positive health effects such as lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and weight. In people who have pre-diabetes, healthy eating and being active can help lead to a 5-10% weight loss which reduces the risk of developing diabetes. For best results, mix with fun!


Build Up Your Strength


Being more active really isn’t hard, but it is important to start slow when your body is not used to physical activity. Begin by adding activity into your normal daily routine, such as parking farther from a store, using the stairs instead of the elevator, or walking in place during TV commercials. As these activities get easier, work towards the goal of 30 minutes of activity a day, five days a week. Activity can be done in 10 minute increments for a total of 30 minutes on most days of the week.

Types of moderate exercise:

  • Brisk walking
  • Weight training
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Riding a bike
  • Aerobics

Other examples of being active:

  • Housework

  • Walking stairs
  • Walking the dogs
  • Playing golf
  • Gardening

For people with diabetes, a combination of aerobic and resistance training is shown to work better in helping to control blood sugar than either type of exercise alone. Exercises such as lifting weights, working with resistance bands and swimming are good choices for resistance training.


Tips to Safely Becoming Physically Active


Tips to safely becoming physically active:

  • Begin with a warm-up and finish the activity with a cool-down.
  • Stay hydrated - drink water before and during activity.
  • Exercise can lower your blood sugar so check your blood sugar prior to exercise and after exercise.
  • Be prepared if your blood sugar goes too low by keeping a carb source with you.
  • Wear proper footwear for the activity.

Call your doctor before starting an exercise routine if:

  • You do not regularly exercise at a moderate level
  • Have a history of heart disease
  • Have a family history of early heart disease