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Exercise for Diabetes: 12 Workout Tips for Diabetics

How far, how fast?

If you have type 2 diabetes, exercise probably ranks high on your to-do list. After all, the benefits of exercise for diabetesfor most health conditions, for that matterare that it can help keep your weight under control and regulate your blood pressure. The added benefits of exercise for diabetes extends to lowering blood sugar levels and helping the body effectively use insulin, which controls blood sugar.But before you start an exercise routine, you need to get the OK from your doctor, decide on what’s an appropriate exercise routine and level for you, and follow a few of our expert tips to get the most of your workout while staying safe and healthy.

Small losses, big gains

“Because most people diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are overweight, meal planning and physical activity usually focus on gradual weight loss, something on the order of two to three pounds per month, ” says Paris Roach, MD, an endocrinologist with Indiana University Health and the division of endocrinology and metabolism at the Indiana University School of Medicine. “Exercise is beneficial to metabolism independent of weight loss in that it lowers glucose levels and improves insulin resistance,” says Dr. Roach. Just a 5 to 10 percent reduction from your starting weight can have significant effects on blood glucose levels. That’s good news if you haven’t broken a sweat in a while. In addition, you’ll also gain muscle strength, improve cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, balance, stamina, mood, and overall good feeling.(Related: Yes, You Can Manage Type-2 Diabetes With Exercise)

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