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Overview Overview What are the best exercises for diabetes?

What are the best exercises for diabetes?

4/14/2022    |    0 min read

Staying fit and active with exercise is beneficial for almost everyone, especially those living with type 2 diabetes.

Whether walking, swimming, or yoga, you can significantly improve your physical health, mental health, and well-being with any form of exercise. Making it a habit is essential to living well with type 2 diabetes.

Learn about the best exercises for diabetes and how 9am.health can help you start and maintain a healthy and helpful exercise routine.

Best exercises for diabetes

A good rule of thumb is to try not to go more than two days without doing some form of exercise (American Diabetes Association). The best exercises for diabetes are safe exercises.  Here are the types of activities you might consider trying.

Aerobic exercises

Aerobic exercises are repeated movements that use large muscle groups and get your heart pumping.

Some examples are walking, cycling, jogging, and swimming.

Strength training

Strength training or resistance training involves working the muscles using free weights, weight machines, bodyweight, or elastic resistance bands.

Flexibility and balance exercises

Flexibility and balance exercises improve your ability to move and prevent injuries through stretching, tai chi, yoga, balancing, and pilates.

How does exercise help with type 2 diabetes?

If you’re living with diabetes, exercise may come up as a part of your treatment plan because of its many health benefits.

Exercise enhances blood sugar and weight management

Exercise helps you take control of your type 2 diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels and improving insulin resistance - a core problem in prediabetes and type 2 diabetes. It also helps make it possible to lose weight and keep it off.

Exercise lowers your risk of heart diseases

If you have type 2 diabetes, you may be at risk for heart and blood vessel problems. Physical activity helps prevent these issues by keeping your blood flow healthy and properly circulating.

Exercise improves your mental health

It’s no surprise that life brings on stress, but having a diabetes diagnosis can create more. Incorporating enjoyable exercise into your everyday life can improve your well-being by lessening anxiety.

Exercise can help you get a better night’s sleep

Many Americans struggle with getting enough sleep, leading to frustration and stress. These can impact how well you take care of yourself and your diabetes. You can rest better by incorporating exercise into your life to function at your best and stay well.

Does exercise prevent type 2 diabetes?

Yes, exercise helps prevent type 2 diabetes. Engaging in exercise reduces seated activities, which take little energy, like sitting at a desk or watching TV. Physical activity allows your body to respond to insulin better. If your body is more sensitive to insulin, the better it is at keeping your blood sugars at healthy levels. Plus, exercise can help you get or maintain a healthy weight, further reducing disease risks.

What exercises should you avoid?

Consider avoiding exercises that your healthcare provider says are unsafe for you. If you have a heart condition or are at risk for heart disease, talk to your healthcare provider to determine what exercise is best for your individual needs.

Get started with an exercise plan from 9amHealth

The Diabetes Care Specialists (DCS) at 9amHealth can help you start exercising by offering tips and ideas for fitting it into your life. Your 9amHealth services include the support of an expert Medical Team. Visit our homepage to learn more about signing up for 9amHealth because you shouldn’t have to manage your diabetes alone.

About the authors

Gaby is a registered dietitian and content creator. When she's not writing, she laughs and cuddles with her kid and a very large standard poodle.

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