Diabetes and Exercise

Diabetes and Exercise
Diabetes is a disease that takes place in the pancreas, the organ in your body that produces the hormone insulin. Whether you have Type 1, Type 2 or Prediabetes, exercise and physical activity can be the answer to getting on track to a better healthier you. The benefits of exercise for people diagnosed with diabetes include:

  • Improved cardiovascular fitness
  • Improved glucose control
  • Weight loss
  • Increased muscle strength
  • Reduced cardiovascular risk factors
  • Reduced risk of type 2 diabetes development

Sedentary lifestyle is a risk factor for many diseases and results in poor glucose control in people with diabetes. As Physical Therapists, we encourage patients to decrease inactivity by standing up and walking every half hour to help improve glycemic control and energy levels. Daily exercise is a valuable tool to help combat some of the symptoms associated with diabetes to improve overall health and wellness. Some recommendations for exercise as proposed by the American Diabetes Association include:


  • 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity 3 days/week OR
  • 75 min/week of vigorous activity for a more active person
  • 2-3 sessions of resistance exercise per week
  • Rest days should not be longer than 2 consecutive days.
  • Flexibility and balance training should occur 2-3x per week


  • 60 minutes per day of moderate to vigorous aerobic activities
  • Muscle and bone strengthening exercises 3 days per week.

These activity guidelines are better managed when working under a supervised training program. Physical Therapists are trained in this field and capable of providing care that is catered to each individuals needs based on current activity levels and type of diabetes. For more information on supervised one on one exercise programs catered to your individual needs, contact us here.

To read more about physical activity and the benefits of exercise for diabetes management click the link below:

By: Mary McCoy PT, DPT

Posted in: All Posts

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