Exercise is an important part of managing your diabetes. It can help control blood sugar and help you lose weight or maintain an ideal body weight. Exercise also helps lower your risk of heart disease, lowers blood pressure, helps reduce stress, and improves overall well-being.1 Exercise is one of the most important habit changes you can make to lower your A1C.2
What does exercise do to blood sugar?
When you do moderate exercise, like walking, it makes your heart beat a little faster and you breathe a little harder. Your muscles use more glucose, the sugar in your blood stream. Over time, this can lower your blood sugar levels. It also makes the insulin in your body work better. And when you are active on a regular basis, it can also lower your A1C. 2
It is recommended that you get at least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity.1 Find the time that works best for you to add up to 150 minutes. For example:
- 30 minutes at one time, five times a week
- 15 minutes at a time, 10 times a week
- 10 minutes at a time several times a day
Examples of moderate-intensity physical activities include:3
- Walking briskly
- Doing housework
- Mowing the lawn
- Playing sports
When you have diabetes, being overweight brings added risks. By losing just a few pounds with healthy eating and exercise, you’ll start to feel better. You’ll have more energy and it will get easier to manage your diabetes, all while reducing your risk of developing other related problems like heart disease.
The key to weight loss for most people is simply finding the right combination of exercise, healthy foods, and portion control.
Enhancing peripheral vascular circulation5
Diabetes can cause circulation problems and related conditions, such as peripheral artery disease, or PAD. Over time, high levels of blood glucose can damage blood vessels.
Exercise is good for poor circulation. It is a great way to get the blood pumping and improve circulation to your legs and feet.
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