Learn about a host of diabetes-related topics such as how many Americans suffer from this disease to how to easily adjust to a new diet after diagnoses. This section will provide you with the information you need to make informed dietary decisions regarding diabetes.

Exercise Tips for Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise is well-known for its ability to improve overall health and wellbeing, including the lives of those living with diabetes. Reduce the risks of such detriments by incorporating more movement in your day with these exercise tips if you have type 2 diabetes!


Type 2 diabetes is a condition in which the body's cells are unable to utilize glucose in the absence of or resistance to insulin. Without proper management, body can suffer further from conditions affecting the kidneys, eyes, heart and even be fatal. Reduce the risks of such detriments by incorporating more movement in your day with these exercise tips if you have type 2 diabetes!

Exercise Tips for Type 2 Diabetes

1. Get the Doctor's Approval
Though exercising with type 2 diabetes is routinely encouraged and considered safe, it is important to get your doctor's stamp of approval before diving right into an exercise regimen. They can assist in creating a safe and individualized type 2 diabetes plan, further considering whether or not you need to adjust meals and medications to reduce your risk of hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar.

2. Ease into Your Regimen
While you may be excited and anxious to jump right in, especially if a beginner, ease into your exercise regimen. If you are not so active now, start with 10 minutes of light activity and gradually work up to 30 minutes daily or the volume you feel comfortable increasing to.

3. Focus On Overall Movement
Yes, incorporating at least 30 minutes of aerobic activity per day and strength and resistance training two or three times a week is encouraged. Ultimately, though, individuals should dismiss a sedentary lifestyle and focus on overall movement. Do not go longer than two hours of sitting and aim for at least 8,000 to 10,000 steps per day, increasing activity by parking further away from store entrances, riding your bike to work, and taking the dog on a walk.

4. Check Blood Sugars
Checking blood sugar is important to reduce hypoglycemia during exercise, particularly as muscles uptake glucose from the blood. Additionally, keep track of blood sugar trends and hemoglobin A1C, as seeing improvements in each can keep you motivated to stick to an exercise program.

5. Fuel Up
As a general frame of reference, consume 30 to 50 grams of carbohydrate for each hour of exercise and keep prepared with easily digestible carb sources, including bananas, grapes, dates, and peaches. Your doctor or a dietitian can also assist in providing nutritional recommendations to meet your needs in a safe manner.

6. Don't Forget Water
Drink water before, during, and after exercise, as dehydration may affect blood sugars and heart function. A sports drink can be beneficial to replenish electrolytes lost in sweat, though it is important to select a product without too much sugar.

7. Get Social
Working out in a social environment not only is motivating and tends to be more fun and engaging, but can ensure your personal safety if an emergency were to arise. Wearing a medical identification bracelet or shoe tag also helps certify the necessary and appropriate steps can be implemented as needed.

8. Wear Appropriate Workout Wear
Workout clothes and gear can be an essential part in your exercise success, as feeling uncomfortable can deplete motivation and desire to carryout a workout. Wear light and breathable clothing, along with appropriate shoe wear to accommodate your selected activity. For instance, if you desire running, find a shoe that offers comfort and the support you need to reduce the risk of blisters and other injuries.

9. Stay Prepared
Need an extra push to get the ball rolling? Stay prepared and prompt yourself to workout by laying out workout gear before bed or posting a motivational sticky note on the refrigerator door. Having such preparations in place can minimize excuses and be that extra push to get you to the gym.

10. Reward Yourself
While you may foresee weight loss as the total reward from exercise, results take time and it is important to recognize that. Focus your attention on other small goals that come with exercise, offering yourself rewards to keep motivated throughout the process. After designating and meeting goals, gift yourself with a new pair of tennis shoes, relax in a massage, or even take a mini trip.

Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on May 29, 2018. Updated on August 01, 2019.


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