In order to keep your diabetes under control, an exercise program is vital. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ʺexperts recommend moderate-intensity physical activity for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days of the week.ʺ Or think of it as a total of 150 minutes or 2.5 hour per week. Moderate-intense exercise consists of swimming, cutting the lawn, bicycling, dancing or brisk walking.
The most important thing before you start any type of exercise program is to contact your doctor. Discuss with your doctor the best exercise program for you.
The hardest thing about any exercise program is your decision to make the commitment. Once you make the decision to commit to an exercise program, put it in the form of a written contract. Here is a sample contract for an exercise commitment.
Print out the contract, fill out the information and sign it. Finally, place your contract in a location where you will see it every day to remind you of your exercise commitment.
If you haven’t exercised in more than 30 days or if you are new to an exercise program, start slowly. You won’t have immediate results in one day. And, starting out slowly will lower your risk of burning out or becoming frustrated.
To monitor all of your health activities, blood glucose, A1C, etc., there is a free online program called Diabetes 24/7 https://247.diabetes.org/Default.aspx.
The program was developed by the American Diabetes Association and Microsoft’s HealthVault. You can log onto the program through your Facebook or Hotmail account. Also, you can set up a new account directly at the link above.
Before you start exercising, spend a few minutes stretching your muscles. Stretching will lower your risk of pulling a muscle and increase your flexibility. The American Diabetic Association recommends the following stretches:
DiabeticLifestyle recommended these fun exercise tips for diabetics:
• Try something new. Take different types of dance classes or lessons. Try flamenco, tap or Zumba. Find one that fits your personality and style.
• Take a swimming or water aerobics class.
• Sign up for a team sport. Try volleyball, softball or even tennis. You will meet new people and stay active at the same time.
• Rent a fitness DVD. For low cost rentals, visit your local library. "Try before you buy" is key. Try a yoga, cardio kick, butt buster or dance DVD. DVD’s are great when the weather is bad.
• Take a walk or hike at a State or local park. Ask a friend or loved one to join you.
• Consider investing in a fitness club or gym membership. The YMCA has great low-cost memberships. Depending on your schedule, you may want to try a 24 hour club. Again, try before you buy. Almost all clubs will give you a few free days to try their club out. If you have time, try two or three clubs before you invest in a membership.
• Purchase dumbbells or use some 2 to 5 lbs bags of product in your kitchen. When walking, take the light weight dumbbells with you. Or if you are watching TV or a movie, try doing some sets of curls.
• Drink water after, during and before your workout.
• During your exercise session carry a box of raisins or a banana to prevent hypoglycemia.
CDC - Be Active - Diabetes & Me - Diabetes DDT. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved August 14, 2011, from
Exercise Tips for Diabetes - Working Out and Staying Fit Safely with Diabetes. DiabeticLifestyle: Recipes and Practical Information for Managing Diabetes. Retrieved August 14, 2011, from
Fitting in Exercise into Your Daily Life - Living Well with Diabetes. DiabeticLifestyle: Recipes and Practical Information for Managing Diabetes. Retrieved August 14, 2011, from
Exercising with Diabetes - The Importance of Exercise for Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes. DiabeticLifestyle: Recipes and Practical Information for Managing Diabetes. Retrieved August 14, 2011, from
Easy Exercise Ideas for Diabetes - Walking, Swimming, and Dancing. DiabeticLifestyle: Recipes and Practical Information for Managing Diabetes. Retrieved August 14, 2011, from
Reviewed August 15, 2011
by Michele Blacksberg R.N.
Edited by Jody Smith