10 Great Exercises to Manage Diabetes

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Exercise is good for everyone. It’s especially important if you have diabetes. Workouts can do all kinds of wonders, like blood pressure and  lower your blood sugar , boost your energy and help you sleep better.

Benefits of Exercise  

 Exercise on a regular basis has been found to improve mood and energy levels. It may help lower your risk of developing chronic diseases with other potential health benefits.

 Every movement that engages your muscles and forces your body to burn calories is considered exercise. There are many different kinds of physical activity, to name a few: swimming, running, jogging, walking, and dancing.

The Best 10 Exercises If You Have Diabetes  

 Exercise is one of the great things you can do if you have diabetes to lower your blood sugar and improve your cardiovascular health. You could include one of these best ten exercises into your fitness routine to manage your blood sugar levels and for a healthy lifestyle.


 A low-impact activity that many people enjoy is walking. Increasing your step count can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and glucose levels. Thirty minutes of vigorous walking each day, or roughly 100 steps per minute, might benefit you.

 Also, you can increase the intensity of your walks by including extra exercises like stair climbing. If you weren’t active before being diagnosed with diabetes, you might want to start cautiously and pick up the speed over time.


 In the ancient Chinese practice of tai chi, participants proceed through a series of exercises while breathing deeply and slowly. Tai chi is a powerful method for controlling blood glucose and A1C levels in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Because tai chi combines stress relief and fitness, it is perfect for those with diabetes.

 Tai chi also enhances balance and may lessen neuropathy, a common issue among people with diabetes whose blood sugar is not well controlled.


Pilates, another low-impact training method, is a worthy addition to this list. Your core will be strengthened, and your balance and posture will be enhanced through controlled breathing and repetitive motions.

 Your joints won’t be impacted by Pilates. This enables consistent Pilates practice. It’s crucial for diabetes people to choose an exercise like Pilates that has a lower risk of leading to injuries because individuals with diabetes typically heal from wounds and sores more slowly.

Pilates calls for a mind-body connection to execute the routines properly. Pilates promotes mental wellness and concentration, which is beneficial for diabetic people as diabetes frequently comes with mental issues like depression, anxiety, etc.


Although some styles of yoga, such as power or vinyasa, might make you sweat, stretching or gentle yoga also has benefits these activities can lower cortisol levels and aid in better blood sugar regulation. Moreover, exercises like yoga help enhance balance, lowering the chance of injuries.

Yoga practice is connected to weight loss and glucose control in people with diabetes. Even sessions as little as 10 minutes are essential. Individuals who practise yoga are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables and to eat thoughtfully.


Cycling is a continuous, repeated physical exercise that can also be referred to as an aerobic activity. Cycling is a non-traumatic activity that hastens muscle recovery, making it advantageous for people with diabetes. Because it engages 70 per cent of the muscular mass in the lower limbs, it is beneficial for people with diabetes.

You can cycle regardless of your age. One of cycling’s main benefits for a diabetic patient is that people can do it even in their 50s, 60s, and 70s. This activity is best for people with diabetes who are overweight or obese.


Building muscle mass through weightlifting and other strengthening exercises can boost the number of calories you burn each day. Strength exercise may also aid in better blood sugar regulation.

Use weight machines, free weights, or even heavy household items like canned goods or water bottles to add weightlifting to your monthly training regimen. Consider taking a weightlifting class or seeking advice from a certified fitness professional to learn how to lift weights safely and effectively.


Water activities are another choice for joint-friendly exercise. Swimming, water aerobics, aqua jogging, and other aquatic exercises can strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles while putting a slight strain on your joints.


In calisthenics, you can build muscle strength by using your own body weight. Pushups, pullups, squats, lunges, and stomach crunches are examples of common calisthenics exercises.

Whether you choose to exercise with resistance bands, weights, or your own body weight, try to work out each of your body’s major muscle areas.

 Experts advise taking a day off from muscle-strengthening exercises in between each strength training session to give your body time to heal.


The meaning of the word Aerobic is with oxygen. It means that breathing is under control and enough oxygen is available to allow muscles to move. This greatly enhances cardiovascular conditioning through aerobic activity. If practised for 30 minutes, five days a week or daily, it can condition the heart. Moreover, aerobic exercise lowers blood glucose levels as well.

Resistance band exercises  

 Weights are not the only way to build muscle. Resistance bands can also be used for a wide range of strengthening exercises. Speak with a qualified trainer, attend a resistance band class, or view a resistance band exercise video to discover how to use them in your routines. Resistance band training can help you gain strength and have an impact on blood sugar regulation.

Exercise safety  

Experts recommend that even children with type 1 diabetes should practise at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous activities every day. Before exercising, test your blood sugar to see if you are  taking insulin or other medications that can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia).  

You generally won’t need to take any particular precautions before exercising if you don’t take medications for your diabetes or if you don’t use medications frequently associated with low blood sugar levels. Check with your doctor.

Safety tips for exercises  

Exercise with diabetes provides certain challenges. You must monitor your blood sugar levels before, during, and after a physical activity if you want to exercise safely. You’ll be able to see how your body reacts to exercise, which might help you avoid potentially harmful blood sugar fluctuations.

The general recommendations for blood sugar levels before exercise are listed below.  

Lower than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L) – Your blood sugar level can be too low for safe exercise. Before you start your activity, eat a quick snack with 15 to 30 grammes of carbohydrates, such as crackers, fruit, or even glucose tablets.

100 to 250 mg/dL (5.6 to 13.9 mmol/L) – You may proceed. This is a safe blood sugar range before exercise for the majority of people.

250 mg/dL (13.9 mmol/L) or higher- You may not be able to exercise safely due to a high blood sugar level. Check your urine for ketones, which are produced when your body breaks down fat for energy, prior to working out. Ketones might be a sign that your body isn’t producing enough insulin to keep your blood sugar under control.

Exercise can increase your risk of developing ketoacidosis, a dangerous diabetes condition that requires immediate medical attention.  

Your blood sugar will be affected for a longer period of time with more intense exercise. Low blood sugar is still possible even after four to eight hours of exercise. After your activity, eating a snack that has slower-acting carbohydrates, like a granola bar or trail mix, can help prevent a decrease in your blood sugar.

Have a small snack high in carbohydrates, like fruits, crackers, or glucose tablets, or drink a half-cup (4 ounces/118 millilitres) of fruit juice if you experience low blood sugar after working out.

Exercise is good for your health in many ways, but for people with diabetes, monitoring their blood sugar levels before, during, and after exercise may be just as essential as the exercise itself.


Regular exercise is essential for maintaining general health and managing diabetes. Before beginning a new fitness regimen, see your doctor if you have any other medical issues besides diabetes. They can assist you in achieving your fitness goals while teaching you how to stay safe and reduce your risk of becoming injured.


Can exercise cure diabetes?  

No, exercise cannot cure diabetes. It can help manage your blood glucose levels.

Which exercises are best for lowering blood sugar?

Walking, cycling, tai- chi, swimming, and weight lifting is some of the best exercises to lower blood sugar levels.

Which exercises should people with diabetes avoid?

People with diabetes should avoid practising heavy lifting, very strenuous activity, or isometric exercises.


The Information including but not limited to text, graphics, images and other material contained on this blog are intended for education and awareness only. No material on this blog is intended to be a substitute for professional medical help including diagnosis or treatment. It is always advisable to consult medical professional before relying on the content. Neither the Author nor Star Health and Allied Insurance Co. Ltd accepts any responsibility for any potential risk to any visitor/reader.

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