Staying Active: The Importance of Exercise with Diabetes

Exercise is an important part of managing your diabetes. Physical activity can help your body's insulin work better, increase your metabolism, help you lose or maintain weight, provide energy, decrease stress and offers numerous other health benefits. 

Getting Started & Staying Active

  • If you have never exercised before, first consult a physician or diabetes educator
  • Schedule physical activity into your daily routine (stairs instead of elevator, park further away, walk in place during commercials, etc) 
  • Find activities you enjoy (walking, riding a bicycle, hiking, etc)

How Much Activity Do You Need?

  • The American Diabetes Association recommends at least 150 minutes of activity a week
  • Start slowly.  5 to 10 minutes a day at first.   Work your way to 30 minutes of physical activity each day
  • Mix cardio and resistance training (strength training)
    • Resistance exercise makes muscles stronger and helps muscles use insulin better

Other Benefits to Physical Activity

  • An active lifestyle can improve your body's ability to use insulin.  Some people with type 2 diabetes on a physical activity program may be able to manage their blood sugar with less medicine.
    Regular exercise can also:
    • lower blood pressure and cholesterol
    • improve heart health
    • decrease stress
    • increase your energy level
    • help you to sleep better
    • improve blood circulation 
    • strengthen muscles and bones, and keep joints flexible