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Updated: Sep 14, 2022

Did you know that regular exercise can help manage blood sugar levels? Well, that’s good news for people with diabetes. Regular exercise also reduces your risk of stroke, heart attack, and other cardiovascular risk factors, promoting your overall health.

Regular exercise also halts the progression of prediabetes into full-blown diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, humans should strive to exercise for at least 150 minutes per week. The American Diabetes Association also recommends at least two sessions of strength training per week to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.

The American Diabetes Association also recommends at least two strength training sessions per week, especially in people without any contraindications.

Regular exercise has many benefits that are independent of weight loss. But then, consistency is very important as only this can bring lasting results.

If you’ve been leading a sedentary life for a long time, and wish to start an exercise program, then you must consult your doctor first. Ensure that there are no special precautions, contraindications, or restrictions. You are better off starting gradually and building up till you achieve your goals.

So, what are those essential exercises that can help in diabetic conditions?

  1. Walking

This doesn’t require expensive equipment or a gym membership. All you need is some comfortable shoes and a safe walking environment. You can start right away. It is recommended that you do a 30-minute walk five days per week.

A 2014 study shows that walking can reduce blood sugar levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. It also promotes weight loss.

  1. Swimming

Swimming is another important exercise; aquatic activities like water aerobics, aqua jogging, swimming, and others can boost lung, muscle, and heart function while also stressing your joints.

A 2017 study found that water-based exercise can help with blood sugar control, just like land exercises.

  1. Cycling

A study has shown that over 50% of those with type 2 diabetes have arthritis. Both diabetes and arthritis share many risk factors, including obesity.

People with type 2 diabetes are prone to diabetic neuropathy. This condition is characterized by the destruction of nerves, leading to joint pain.

If you have pains in the lower joint, go for less stressful, and low-impact exercises. With cycling, you can achieve your exercise and fitness goals without putting much stress on your joints.

  1. Aerobic dance

Have you mastered the art of aerobic dance? Well, you might be on your way to meeting your exercise goals.

A study carried out in 2015 found that type 2 diabetic women who participated in aerobic dances for 16 weeks had their aerobic fitness improved. They also lost a lot of weight.

  1. Weightlifting

We all know that weightlifting encourages the buildup of muscle mass. This translates to the burning of more calories every day. According to the American Diabetes Association, strength training enhances blood sugar control American Diabetes Association.

You can use free weights or weight machines if you intend to make weight lifting a weekly activity.

Join a weightlifting class or hire a professional fitness trainer to guide you on how to lift weights safely.

  1. Calisthenics

Calisthenics involves strengthening your muscles using your body weight. Exercises classified under calisthenics include squats, pushups, lunges, pullups, and abdominal crunches.

You must involve every major muscle in your body during your workout sessions. You can strengthen your muscles with resistance bands or body weight.

It would help if you also took out some time to recover. The American Diabetes Association recommends taking a day off between strength training sessions.

  1. Yoga

A 2016 review showed that yoga helps manage blood sugar in Type 2 diabetes. Yoga also helps with weight management and management of cholesterol levels. It improves sleep quality, reduces blood pressure, and is a mood booster.

You can sign up for a yoga class at a local gym or yoga studio. You will be guided on switching the different poses, using the proper breathing technique and posture.


Taking care of your health should be atop priority including staying physically active. Regular physical activity has been shown to help people with diabetes manage their condition and improve overall health. If you have other medical issues besides diabetes it is essential to your healthcare provider before starting any new exercise routine. They can

guide you on the safest way to get active while still meeting your fitness goals. Being proactive about your health by incorporating regular physical activity into your lifestyle is one of the best decisions you can make for yourself. What are you waiting for? Get moving!

To hear my diabetes story Click Here

Christian Frazier, Certified Life Health and Nutrition Coach

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