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Diabetes and Exercise: Importance of Physical Activity and Staying Active

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

Getting Started & Staying Active

  • If you've 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 TV commercials, etc.) 
  • Find activities that 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
  • Begin with 5-10 minutes a day at first - gradually increase 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