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Exercise For Diabetes – The Ultimate Guide To Reducing Blood Sugar Levels

Mrs. Shalini Malhotra (53-years-old) lives in Amritsar and she is a housewife. Mrs. Malhotra has been diagnosed with diabetes over the past 2 years. She consulted a doctor and is following medications prescribed by him. But she is unable to manage her diabetes despite having medications. Recently, Mrs. Malhotra discussed her condition with her friend and then her friend advised her to do some exercise for diabetes that will minimize her blood sugar level.

Regular exercises will not only lessen your sugar levels but also reduce weight. Diabetes and exercise are interrelated and exercising will minimize your chances of getting a heart attack and stroke, decrease cardiovascular risk factors, and promote your well-being. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) also recommends performing at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity per week. Another benefit of exercising is it also reduces your weight.


If you are leading a sedentary lifestyle and are planning to incorporate exercise into your daily regime, you should consult a doctor first. Start with low-intensity exercises and then, gradually enhance your stamina.

Type 2 diabetes physical exercises that you should perform to lessen your blood sugar level.

1. Walking

Walking is the best exercise that will manage your blood sugar level. You don’t need any equipment or a gym membership to perform this activity. You just need a pair of supportive shoes and a lot of motivation to start this physical activity. Experts recommend a 30-minute brisk walk for five days every week. A study was performed in 2014 and according to it, walking is beneficial for people with type 2 diabetes. This activity minimizes their blood sugar levels and helps them to lose weight. Keep tracking your steps and monitoring your progress.

2. Cycling

Several medical studies have proved that nearly half the people with diabetes 2 are suffering from arthritis too. These two conditions have many common risk factors, including obesity. Diabetic neuropathy is a condition that happens when the nerves become damaged. This condition is also responsible for joint pain in people with type 2 diabetes. If you are dealing with joint pain, always choose low-impact physical activities.  Cycling is beneficial, as it will help you in achieving your fitness goals at the same time without hurting your joints.

3. Swimming

If you are looking for some joint-friendly exercise option, then this aerobic exercise won’t produce any strain on your joints. This activity will promote your upper and lower body muscles to work properly at the same time. Hitting the water is also beneficial for your heart. It will also minimize the level of cholesterol and will burn those extra pounds. Aquatic activities like swimming, water aerobics, aqua jogging, etc. will improve your heart, lungs, and muscles. At the same time, they will give less stress to your joints.

4. Aerobic Dance

If you want to add a touch of fun to your daily activities, then you must enroll in aerobic, dance, or other fitness classes. These activities will help you to meet your exercise goals. For example, Zumba is a fitness dance that amalgamates dance and aerobic movements and offers a fast-paced workout to participants. A study was published in 2015 and according to it; people with type-2 diabetes were more motivated to exercise after participating in Zumba classes for 16 weeks. Participants have also lost weight and gained more endurance and stamina. An aerobic dance of 25 minutes 3 days per week will make your heart healthy and also, will minimize your blood sugar, and burn calories. 

5. Stationary Bicycle

If you are fighting diabetes, then you must perform physical activities like riding a stationary bicycle. If you are using a stationary bicycle, try to use it for 30 minutes per day 3 to 5 times a week.  This will improve your heart rate and burn blood sugar. This exercise is also beneficial in losing weight without injuring your knees or other joints.

6. Strength Training Exercises

You can perform these types of activities with free weights or resistance bands. It will minimize your blood sugar and strengthen your bones and muscles. You can perform this activity twice a week along with your aerobic activities.  Some of these exercises can also be performed at your home without any equipment. These exercises are

  • Lifting goods or water bottles
  • Push-ups
  • Sit-ups
  • Squats
  • Lunges


7. Pilates

This popular fitness program is ideally designed to improve core strength, coordination, and balance. Several studies have claimed that older women with type 2 diabetes may get benefitted from minimizing their blood sugar levels with this activity. You can go for Pilates classes at your local gym or Pilates studio. The internet is also flooded with many videos and books regarding Pilates training.

8. Yoga

This ancient exercise is a low-impact physical activity that will make you stronger and more flexible. Yoga will also improve your balance. The poses and motions will uplift your breathing movements and are effective in easing stress. These activities will make your sugar levels more stable.

9. Tai Chi

This popular Chinese art consists of slow and controlled movements along with visualization and deep breathing. This is an ideal exercise in building your strength. It will improve your mobility, balance, and flexibility. This gentle exercise minimizes your stress level also. It is also effective in averting nerve damage in your feet.

The Bottom Line

These are some exercises that are beneficial for your diabetes. Besides, you may also try some prediabetes physical exercise if you have a family history of diabetes. Regular physical activity will also promote your overall health and well-being. If you are suffering from other conditions along with type 2 diabetes, consult your doctor before indulging in a new activity.

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