February 15, 2023

Managing Your Diabetes Through Physical Activity

General Health

Physical activity helps our body respond to insulin more effectively. Being active also helps with weight loss. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity per week to help delay or prevent health problems from diabetes. Breaking the activity into small chunks each day can make it easier to manage.

If activity is new for you, walking is a great place to start. Try adding in a 5 – 10-minute walk after a meal each day. Make it extra enjoyable and bring your pet, a friend, or listen to music or a book. Work your way up to a brisk walk. Then, increase the time you walk, such as 10 minutes after each meal. You can easily get to 30 minutes per day when you break it up!

Seek out ways to stay active, even if you can’t go for a walk or to the gym. Park farther away, take the stairs instead of the elevator, or stand up and stretch at each commercial break. We want to break up sitting to 30 minutes at a time. Your household activities count, too, such as mopping, mowing the lawn, gardening, and shoveling all this nice winter snow! Try something new – you may be surprised. Fort HealthCare offers a variety of virtual classes, which you can schedule here. Other ways to stay active such as swimming, cycling, dancing, band exercise, weight exercises, or yoga. Stretching can also be a great way to help support strength and flexibility.

Set a goal and stick with it! Don’t give up if you miss a day or two of activity. Tracking your activity or asking a friend to join you are two ways to remain consistent and accountable. Celebrate all your wins, even your small wins! Staying active is no small feat.

Safety first – ensure you have proper shoes that fit well and access to sugar in case your blood glucose goes low when exercising. Check with your provider before starting a new exercise program.

Krames. (2021). Being more active. A guide for adults living with diabetes (pp. 14-15). Krames, LLC.