Making a Type 2 Diabetes Exercise Plan – Verywell Health

Type two diabetes can result from lifestyle factors like lack of exercise and poor diet. Regular exercise can significantly reduce complications of type 2 diabetes. Exercise can decrease body fat, lower blood pressure, and prevent high blood sugar.

This article will review important points to take into consideration when beginning an exercise plan with type 2 diabetes and how to create an exercise routine that will work for you.

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Talk to Your Healthcare Provider

Always make sure in order to consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any new exercise program to make sure you are healthy enough to support an increase in physical activity. Certain medications that will treat diabetes can also cause low blood sugar levels along with exercise, so it is important to consult with your healthcare provider to determine if there are any specific precautions you need to take prior to starting workout.

Plan a Time

Committing to a specific time to physical exercise can help fit it into your day. Allotting time before or after work or on the weekends can help you stick to a consistent routine.   When it comes to exercise, consistency is key. It will be recommended that those with sort 2 diabetes exercise for at least 30 minutes per day for three to seven days per week.

Monitor Your Blood Sugar During Exercise

If you get insulin or even certain medications to manage insulin levels and you don’t properly adjust them for your activity levels, you may be at risk of experiencing lower blood sugar (hypoglycemia) during exercise. Symptoms of hypoglycemia while exercising include:

  • Extreme fatigue
  • Lightheadedness
  • Dizziness
  • Shakiness
  • Difficulty concentrating

Low blood sugar while exercising is more likely to occur if you take insulin or medicines that affect your insulin levels, exercise strenuously or for a long period of time, or even skip meals.   To reduce your risk of having low bloodstream sugar when exercising, check your blood sugars immediately before you begin your workout.

If your blood sugar level is 100 mg/dL or lower before you start, you should first eat 15–20 grams of carbohydrates to raise your own blood sugar levels. Quick sources of 15–20 grams associated with carbohydrates include:

  • Four glucose tablets (4 grms per tablet)
  • 4 ounces (a half-cup) of juice     
  • 1 tablespoon of glucose or honey

You should then look at your blood sugar again after 15 minutes. In case it is still below 100 mg/dL, you should consume another serving of 15 grams of carbohydrates plus continue to recheck your bloodstream sugar. When your blood sugars level is usually above 100 mg/dL, you can safely begin working out.

Have Carbs on Hand

Keeping carbs on hand is important in case you experience symptoms of reduced blood sugar throughout your exercise. You might need them while a person exercise in case you start to experience associated with hypoglycemia.

Start Out Slowly

Exercising too much or too intensely may take the toll on your body. For people with diabetes, exercising for too long or as well intensely can also increase your danger of hypoglycemia.

When starting any new exercise program or program, start off slowly to allow period for your body in order to adjust.   Sedentary individuals should always begin gradually and gradually increase workout intensity, duration, and frequency over time.  

Find the Right Activity

Recent evidence suggests that a combination associated with both aerobic exercise and strength training is most effective with regard to managing kind 2 diabetes. Aerobic physical exercise helps the body absorb insulin, while strength training can improve how quickly the blood absorbs glucose (also known as blood sugar levels uptake).

Taking Care of Your Feet

It is important to have supportive, properly fitting sneakers regarding exercising to prevent skin breakdown and foot ulcers , a common complication of diabetes.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise is any kind of activity that increases your heart rate a lot more than when you are at rest. This causes more oxygenated blood to circulate throughout your body and works muscles. Over time, regular aerobic workout strengthens your own heart and lungs, making them function more efficiently. Aerobic exercises consist of:

  • Walking
  • Running
  • Hiking
  • Swimming
  • Jumping rope
  • Dancing
  • Bicycling
  • Bouncing jacks
  • Stair climbing
  • Playing sports

Aerobic exercise is recommended for at least 150 minutes per 7 days spread out over three in order to 7 days with no more than two consecutive days associated with rest in between.

Strength Training

Strength coaching is working out to increase muscle strength through resistance training. Resistance can be in the form of weights, resistance bands, or through your own body weight with movements like:

  • Push-ups
  • Pull-ups
  • Dips
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Step-ups

Strength training is recommended intended for two to three days per week with at least one day of rest in between. Strength coaching sessions ought to consist of eight to 10 different exercises, each completed for one to three sets associated with 10–15 repetitions.

Drink Water

Drinking water whilst exercising is usually important to keep you adequately hydrated. Dehydration during workout can cause symptoms similar to hypoglycemia, including exhaustion, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, plus difficulty concentrating.

Follow the Routine

Having a structure for your exercise sessions will help keep you on track and help to make exercising a regular habit. Aim to have alternating days between strength teaching and cardiovascular exercise or even perform strength training and aerobic exercise on the particular same times with sleep days between.


Regular exercise is incredibly essential for managing type 2 diabetes to lower your blood sugar and decrease insulin resistance. When beginning a new exercise program, make sure to consult your own healthcare supplier to receive clearance that you are healthful enough in order to increase your activity amounts. Start off slowly, help make sure to monitor your own blood sugar levels prior to exercising, and keep carbs on hand to improve your blood sugar just before or during exercise when needed. For the majority of benefits, combine aerobic workout and strength training throughout the week for a minimum of 150 moments of physical exercise per week.

A Word From Verywell

When you’re new to exercising, you may feel scared when starting a workout plan. Starting exercising may be intimidating at first, but the more you exercise and incorporate physical activity as a regular part associated with your life, the healthier you will be, and with better control over your own diabetes.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • People with diabetes should avoid exercise that is too intense or to get too long a period of time, progressively building up power and endurance with time in order to avoid a low blood sugar crisis.

  • The best time to exercise is whatever time is definitely best pertaining to you depending on your schedule plus energy. If you exercise in the morning, make sure you consume breakfast before exercising to avoid hypoglycemia.

By Kristen Gasnick, PT, DPT

Kristen Gasnick, PT, DPT, is a medical writer and a physical therapist in Holy Name Medical Center within New Jersey.

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