Best Exercises for People with Diabetes

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Exercise offers many benefits for people with diabetes. This is because exercising can help lower your blood sugar levels and stress levels.

But how much exercise is right for you? The National Institutes of Health or NIH recommends at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercise each week. It is also recommended that diabetic patients miss not more than 2 days of aerobic exercise in a row.

Top Exercises for People with Diabetes

Tai Chi

Tai Chi is a Chinese form of exercise that uses smooth and slow body movement to relax the body and mind. It uses a series of movements that are performed in a relaxed and slow manner for at least 30 minutes.

Studies have confirmed that it is the best choice of exercise for Type 2 Diabetes. It is the perfect exercise for individuals with diabetes, because of its stress reduction and fitness benefits. It also improves nerve damage, a common complication with diabetics and improves one’s balance.


Swimming is another form of aerobic exercise that is best for people with type 2 diabetes. This is because swimming does not put pressure on the joints, which is good news for diabetics. It also relaxes and stretches the muscles and does not put pressure on the joints.

Studies have shown that it can help improve cholesterol levels, lower stress levels and burn calories. It is recommended to swim at least 3 times per week for at least 10 minutes and increase your workout gradually. Monitor your blood sugar level and have a snack on hand.


Walking is the most popular exercise for people with diabetes. Brisk walking when done at a pace to raise the heart rate is considered to be an aerobic exercise.

Studies have shown beneficial effects for diabetics to participate in aerobic activities at least three days a week, for a total of 150 minutes. It is recommended that people do not go more than two consecutive days without an aerobic exercise session.

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Studies have shown that yoga can benefit people with diabetes in a number of ways. These includes fighting insulin resistance, lowering body fat and improving nerve function.

It is also a great stress level reducer like Tai-Chi, while incorporating fluid movements that help build balance, strength and flexibility. The best advantage of yoga is that you can do it as often as you like and the more you do it the better.

Stationary Bicycling

Bicycling is another form of aerobic exercise that make the lungs function better and makes your heart stronger. It also burns a lot of calories and improve the blood flow to the legs. Stationary bike is ideal for people with diabetes because you can do it inside.


Dancing is an exciting and fun way to increase physical activity, improve flexibility, promote weight loss, reduce stress and lower blood sugar level. It can also burn up to 150 calories in just 30 minutes.

Exercise Safety for People with Diabetes

1. Make sure to monitor your blood sugar before and after exercise, to make you aware of how your body responds to exercise.
2. Do a 5 minute warm-up before and a 5 minute cool down after exercising.
3. Drink plenty of water before, during and after an exercise to prevent dehydration.
4. Always be prepared for any event of low blood sugar. Be ready with something that can bring your sugar levels up, such as glucose tablet or hard candy.

Prior to starting any exercise program, be sure to talk to your doctor regarding your exercise plan to be sure that it is safe and appropriate for your type of diabetes.

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