A man exercises outdoors wearing his Freestyle Libre sensor
A man exercises outdoors wearing his Freestyle Libre sensor
A man exercises outdoors wearing his Freestyle Libre sensor

The best exercises for people with diabetes29

They key to managing diabetes is the right diabetes exercise and diet. Once you have a regular, healthy meal plan, exercise for diabetic patients is the most important. Diabetes exercise lowers blood glucose levels and boosts your body’s sensitivity to insulin, countering insulin resistance. Exercise for diabetes also helps control weight, lowers blood pressure, strengthens muscles and bones, reduces anxiety, and boosts your overall well-being. Many of us, however, do not enjoy exercise, even as it is essential to our health. Below are 7 exercises for diabetes that get your heart and body pumping and moving, while also being enjoyable.

1. Walking

Walking is a great exercise to avoid diabetes. You don’t need to exercise alone on a treadmill in a grey building. Instead, hit the outdoors. Find a park near you, or just walk on the road itself. A brisk 30 minute walk is the perfect exercise for diabetic patients, and you’ll have fun in nature or among new sights while you do it. You can have your friends along for the walk too.

2. Team sports

Team sports are the perfect diabetes exercise, as they will have you meeting your daily exercise goals without being conscious of it. If you find it hard to motivate yourself to exercise, pick up a team sport such as football, tennis, or basketball. These team sports offer a good aerobic workout. Without realising it, you will be exercising as you kick the ball back and forth between you and your friend.

3. Dance

Dancing is one of the most enjoyable ways for diabetes exercise. You can sign up for an aerobic dance class or Zumba at a gym. If any dance has moves that are vigorous and cause you to break out in a sweat, it’s the ideal exercise to avoid diabetes. You can exercise through dance without leaving your home as well. There are several Zumba tutorials online. Simply change into workout clothes in your home and dance along to the video. Just 20-30 minutes will give you the exercise you need for the day.

4. Yoga

Yoga is a great exercise for diabetes, as it helps manage your blood sugar and lower your blood pressure, and also improves the quality of your sleep and boosts your mood. Yoga is a great multipurpose exercise for days when you don’t feel like exercising outside. If you sign up for a class, you’ll feel even more motivated having a group of people going through the same motions as you.

5. Cycling

Cycling is an especially good exercise for diabetic patients, as many Type 2 diabetics develop stiff joints and arthritis. A low-impact exercise like cycling helps you meet your daily exercising goals and helps with joint problems as well. You can cycle on the roads, in parks, and at the gym.

6. Swimming

In the summers, swimming is the ideal exercise for diabetic patients. Exercising in water keeps your heart rate up longer than exercising on land does. Swimming helps lower your blood sugar levels, tones your entire body, and is another joint-friendly option. You don’t need to swim- you can do water aerobics and jog as well.

7. Jump rope

The childhood game we all had fun playing may not strike you as an exercise to avoid diabetes, but it can be a high-energy, high-intensity exercise. Jumping rope burns calories, builds muscle and endurance, gets your heart rate up, and is fun at the same time. For diabetics, it helps control blood sugar, and lowers your blood pressure and cholesterol. You can form your own routine and jump rope inside, outside, and with friends.

For more on diabetes diet and exercise, check out our other blogs and website.

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Disclaimer - Images are for illustration purpose only. No actual patient data. Any person depicted in the photos is a model