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Top 6 Exercises for People With Diabetes



1. Walking
Because anyone can do it almost anywhere, walking is the most popular exercise and one we highly recommend for people with diabetes. Thirty minutes to one hour of brisk walking, three times each week is a great, easy way to increase your physical activity.

2. Tai Chi
This Chinese form of exercise uses slow, smooth body movements to relax the mind and body. Tai chi, a series of movements performed in a slow and relaxed manner over 30 minutes, has been practiced for centuries. Tai chi is ideal for people with diabetes because it provides fitness and stress reduction in one. Tai chi also improves balance and may reduce nerve damage, a common diabetic complication, although the latter benefit remains unproven.

3. Dancing
Dancing is not only great for your body. The mental work to remember dance steps and sequences actually boosts brain power and improves memory. For those with diabetes, it is a fun and exciting way to increase physical activity, promote weight loss, improve flexibility, lower blood sugar and reduce stress. In just 30 minutes, a 150-pound adult can burn up to 150 calories.

4. Yoga
A traditional form of exercise, yoga incorporates fluid movements that build flexibility, strength and balance. It is helpful for people with a variety of chronic conditions, including diabetes. It lowers stress and improves nerve function, which leads to an increased state of mental health and wellness. Yoga can help lower body fat, fight insulin resistance, and improve nerve function – all important when you have type 2 diabetes.

5. Swimming
Swimming stretches and relaxes your muscles and doesn’t put pressure on your joints, which is great for people with diabetes. To get the most benefit from swimming, we recommend that you swim at least three times a week for at least ten minutes and gradually increase the length of the workout. Make sure to have a snack and monitor blood sugars. Lastly, let the lifeguard know that you have diabetes before you get in the pool.

6. Stationary Bicycling
Bicycling is also a form of aerobic exercise, one that makes your heart stronger and your lungs function better. A stationary bike is ideal for people with diabetes because you can do it inside, no matter the weather, and you don’t have to worry about falling or having a flat and being a long way from home. Bicycling improves blood flow to your legs – a great benefit for people with diabetes – and burns lots of calories to keep your weight at healthy levels.

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