Diabetes and Physical Activity

Physical Activity is very important for people with diabetes. The good news is there are lots of ways to become more active. Whether you feel able to go for a gentle run or dance around whilst making dinner, it all makes a difference and is a very important part of diabetes management. 

1. Why is it important? 

If you have diabetes, being physically active makes your body more sensitive to insulin (the hormone that allows cells in your body to use blood sugar for energy). This helps you manage your diabetes. Physical activity also helps you control you blood sugar levels and lowers your risk of heart disease and nerve damage.

2. How to benefit from Physical Activity?

The aim is to achieve 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity a week. One way to do this is to do a little and often. Being active for at least 20 minutes everyday can help you achieve this. A couple of days a week try and take part in activities that work all major muscle groups such as your legs, back, abdomen, and arms

Moderate-intensity physical activities include:

  • Walking briskly
  • Doing housework
  • Mowing the lawn
  • Dancing


3. How to get started?

  • Find an enjoyable way to be active. If you have fun and like what you are doing, you are more likely to stick with it.
  • Start small. If you’re not already physically active you should begin slowly and work your way up to the desired level.
  • Partner up. It’s more fun exercising with a partner and helps you hold yourself accountable.


4. Important considerations for people with Diabetes

  • Make sure you drink plenty of fluids while you are being activity to prevent dehydration.
  • Always check your blood sugar before being physically active, especially if you take insulin.
  • Once you have finished exercising, always remember to check to see how it has affected your blood glucose level.


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