Know how to stay active with diabetes.

Physical activity has all kinds of benefits, including helping to lower your glucose levels, promoting weight loss, reducing stress and improving your overall fitness!1

Regular physical exercise: a look at the benefits2,3

Reduces your risk of:

Mortality (death)

Cardiovascular (heart-related) disease

Hypertension (high blood pressure)

Certain cancers

Anxiety & depression

Poor blood lipid profile (bad cholesterol)

Improves your:

Glucose levels

Bone health

Cognition (ability to learn and understand)

Quality of life

Physical function

How much exercise is enough?

The Canadian 24-hour movement guidelines for adults (aged 18-64 years) recommend doing a variety of types and intensities of physical activity, including:2,3


150 minutes per week (e.g., 30 minutes, 5x per week) of moderate to vigorous physical activities  

  • Walking

  • Bicycling

  • Jogging

Resistance training

Muscle strengthening exercises using major muscle groups (e.g., lifting weights) at least 2x per week

  • Weight training

  • Resistance bands

  • Body-weight exercises

Light physical activities

Several hours each day of light physical activities like standing or slow walking

  • Guidelines also recommend getting 7 to 9 hours of sleep a night and limiting sedentary (inactive) time each day to 8 hours or less.

What does intensity look like?4

Light aerobic exercise:

  • Slow walking

  • Golf

  • Gardening

  • Dusting

  • Laundry

  • Stretching 

  • Yoga

Moderate aerobic exercise:

  • Brisk walking

  • Climbing stairs

  • Mowing the lawn

  • Swimming

  • Biking

Vigorous aerobic exercise:

  • Running

  • Fast cycling

  • Hockey

  • Basketball

Helpful tip:

Your breathing will tell you how intense an exercise is. With light exercise, you should be able to breathe normally. With moderate exercise, you will breathe more deeply, and with vigorous exercise, you may feel out of breath.4

Important exercise tips2,4

Talk to your doctor

This is important, especially if you’ve been inactive for a while. If you have type 1 diabetes, talk to your doctor about reducing the risk of hypoglycemia during and after your workouts.

Wear proper clothing

Make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes that fit properly and your MedicAlert® bracelet or necklace.

Bring glucose

Take a fast-acting carbohydrate with you in case you experience low glucose levels.

Monitor your glucose levels

This is important to do if you take insulin or medications that increase the release of insulin. Check your glucose level before, during, and several hours after exercise. 

Build up gradually

Vigorous physical activity should only be started after you’ve been physically active for a while and only once you’ve gotten approval from your doctor.

Seek help if…

You have trouble with exercise, feel a lot of discomfort during exercise (e.g., joint pain, pain in the chest or arms, lightheadedness, shortness of breath), or if you experience frequent episodes of low glucose.

Keep your sensor in place

For tips on adding extra “stick” to your sensor and ensuring it doesn’t come off during exercise, visit the FreeStyle Libre 2 sensor section of this website.

The FreeStyle Libre 2 app is only compatible with certain mobile devices and operating systems. Please check the Compatibility Guide (PDF 69 KB) for more information about device compatibility before using the app.


  1. Diabetes Canada. Lifestyle Management. Diabetes Canada website. Accessed September 15, 2022.
  2. Diabetes Canada. Physical Activity. Diabetes Canada website. Accessed September 15, 2022.
  3. The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEP). The Canadian 24-Hour Movement Guidelines for Adults (18-64 years). CSEP website. Accessed September 15, 2022.
  4. Diabetes Canada. Maintaining Aerobic Exercise. Diabetes Canada website. Accessed September 15, 2022.  


The FreeStyle Libre 2 flash glucose monitoring system is indicated for measuring interstitial fluid glucose levels in people aged 4 years and older with diabetes mellitus. Always read and follow the label/insert.
The FreeStyle Libre flash glucose monitoring system is indicated for measuring interstitial fluid glucose levels in adults aged 18 years and older with diabetes mellitus. Always read and follow the label/insert.