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Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Tips for Exercising Safely When You Have Diabetes
You can safely exercise when you have
diabetes. Here are some tips.
Start slowly so that you don't
overdo it. Build up your exercise program bit by bit, and aim for at least 2½
hours a week of
moderate activity. Or try to do
vigorous activity for at least 1¼ hours a
week.footnote 1 It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes
or more throughout your day and week.
If your doctor says it's okay, then try to do muscle-strengthening exercises at least 2 times a week. These exercises include push-ups and weight training. You can also use rubber tubing or stretch bands. You stretch or pull the tubing or band to build muscle strength. Be sure to work the major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
If you take insulin or other medicine for diabetes:
Exercise can lower your blood sugar hours later. Test your blood sugar and have a plan for treating low blood sugar.
Adrenaline released with short bouts of vigorous exercise can cause high blood sugar. Combining short bursts of vigorous activity with longer moderate-intensive exercises can help prevent this problem.
For more information, see the topic Fitness: Getting and Staying Active.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2008). 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans (ODPHP Publication No. U0036). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Available online: http://www.health.gov/paguidelines/guidelines/default.aspx.
Other Works Consulted
Colberg SR, et al. (2010). Exercise and type 2 diabetes: The American College of Sports Medicine and the American Diabetes Association: Joint position statement. Diabetes Care, 33(12): e147–e167.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - EndocrinologyMartin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofMay 23, 2016
Current as of:
May 23, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
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