The Benefits of Exercise to Help Manage Diabetes

Man and woman enjoying bike ride together

For those of us with diabetes, there are a number of lifestyle factors that can help us fight this disease. Maintaining a healthy diet is certainly one step. Taking medications as prescribed is another. Physical activity also helps.

Physical activity can play an important role in managing your diabetes. It may also help to improve your health. This doesn't mean that you need to start running marathons. Exercise at a level that is appropriate for you. Follow your doctor’s recommendations.

Benefits of exercise

Did you know exercise can help you control the levels of glucose in your blood?1 It also can help with other things:2

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Weight control
  • Increased level of good cholesterol
  • Increase muscle strength
  • Stronger bones
  • Increased energy
  • Improved mood
  • Better sleep
  • Stress management

Talk to your doctor

When beginning an exercise routine, the best place to start is with your doctor. He or she knows your overall health situation and can recommend exercises that are beneficial to you and at your activity level. While exercise has many benefits, avoid overdoing it, which may lead to hypoglycemia, a condition that’s caused by low blood sugar.3

Start slowly, keep it simple

When starting an exercise routine, start slowly, keep it simple, and make it fun.

Do what you enjoy

If you take on an exercise routine that you don’t enjoy, you may not stick with it. Think about activities you like. Golfing? Walking? Stretching? You know your favorite workouts. If you can join a local group and take lessons or compete in a league, you may have fun socializing while exercising. Family and friends may also make your workouts more enjoyable.

Whatever type of exercise you choose, make it fun. Enjoy!

Sources

  1. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20371451 (link opens in new window)
  2. https://medlineplus.gov/benefitsofexercise.html (link opens in new window)
  3. http://www.diabetes.org/food-and-fitness/fitness/get-started-safely/blood-glucose-control-and-exercise.html (link opens in new window)