Believe me, living a life with diabetes is not an easy job. It's a life-changing moment when someone is diagnosed with diabetes. The whole lifestyle of that person becomes more health-oriented. According to the American Diabetes Association, exercise can improve insulin sensitivity for up to 48 hours, helping keep blood sugar levels in check. There are a lot of exercises that help you out in maintaining your sugar levels and live the healthy life you always dreamed of.

Exercise is a part of the foundation for perfecting your diabetes management. But what are the best exercises for diabetics? We'll be explaining tips and tricks on how to train and exercise and keep your diabetes well under control.

In this Diabetic Me article, you will learn more about:

  • How to motivate myself to exercise?
  • Different types of exercises for diabetics.
  • Does a personal trainer improve my exercise?
  • Is water an important substance while working out?

Key Facts

  • A daily workout for 10 to 30 minutes will improve your blood flow and benefit diabetes management.
  • Aerobics and physical activity will maintain your blood sugar levels.
  • High blood sugars are controlled with plenty of water intake after your exercise.
  • By doing exercises, you can save yourself from many diabetes related issues.
  • Checking blood sugar levels before, during, and after workouts is advised.

Different Types of Cardio Exercises for Diabetics

Whether you're a diabetic or not, cardio exercises will improve your blood sugar levels. During cardio your body consumes all excess fat and more oxygen, resulting in pumping more oxygen to your muscles. Instead of taking cardiovascular medicines, cardio exercises are a good option. Popular cardio workouts like running, swimming, cycling, and high intensity interval training can all benefit diabetes management. They appeal to multiple joints and engage more than one muscle group. They improve coordination and increase heart rate.

If you want to lose weight, then cardio exercises should be on your daily checklist. You will probably burn more calories with these powerful, high-intensity workouts than with a slow endurance workout. However, diabetics should take care not to let blood sugar drop too low when doing longer or more intense exercise. Checking blood sugar levels before, during, and after workouts is advised.

Adapt the exercise time and intensity level depending upon your current sugar levels, diabetes type and the medicines you take.

5 Ultimate Exercises for Diabetics

Aerobics like running, cycling, jogging and jumping increases your stamina. Yoga, Tai Chi and other balance exercises help you out in gaining stability and training your joints. Weight lifting or strength training enhances muscle growth. All of these are beneficial for diabetes management.

Any movement which benefits your health is considered an exercise. Maintaining blood sugar levels with a diet plan is not enough. According to the American Diabetes Association, you also have to make sure you are active with 150 minutes of exercise per week minimum. Every person has different likings and lifestyles when it comes to exercise. Some like to do hardcore workouts and some like mind-body synchrony. We have chosen five ultimate exercises for diabetics.


A Person Swimming Crawl In A Swimming Pool

Only a few exercises activate all your muscles at once, and swimming is one of them. Swimming works your core, arms, glutes, quads, hamstrings, hip flexors, and more without stressing your joints, making it one of the best exercises for diabetics.

The best thing about swimming is that it doesn't put pressure on joints. If you have diabetes and rising cholesterol, then you must try it once. You can start it from shorter time intervals to longer ones.


A Group Of People Doing Yoga

Yoga is a state of extreme balance, where your whole body becomes one unit. Most of the diseases are cured by only yoga, like different sorts of chronic issues. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, yoga helps stimulate insulin production which helps balance blood sugar levels. It also benefits mental state. If you lose your temper due to diabetic routine, 30-45 minutes of yoga can transform your whole day.


Exhale and inhale are the two-opposite process. Without them, life is impossible.

When you inhale air, oxygen moves into your veins and filter your blood.

By walking, you make this process faster; hence more clean blood circulates in your body. Diabetes can't be cure by walking, but if you're interested in controlling it, you have to do it.


Our every emotion and especially health is related to Hormones. A little change in hormones can make your life heaven and hell also.

Dancing makes people feel happy, energetic, and it's a healthy exercise. The most famous example of controlling health by dancing is ZUMBA. Due to diabetes, most of the time, people become extra conscious. Dancing neutralizes your mood and diabetics health.

Thai Chi

It is an ancient exercise of Chinese culture with a variety of slow-motion moves. The best thing about Tai chi is that people with diabetes can do them easily due to relaxation. It's beneficial for both type 1 and types 2 diabetes. The University of Florida had done different kinds of experiments on it to prove its credibility.

How to Motivate Myself as a Diabetic to Exercise?

Like many others, including those with diabetes, you might feel the need to exercise more. However, sticking to this beneficial routine can sometimes be challenging. Here are some tips to help you find motivation for physical activity!

1. Maintain Your Routine

Don't be easily discouraged. If you're already exercising consistently, keep up the good work. Persistence is key, so motivate yourself to maintain a regular exercise schedule.

2. Push Yourself to Get Started

Getting yourself to the gym, or simply stepping outside with your running shoes, skates, or bike, means you're mostly there. The hardest part is often just starting, so encourage yourself to get moving and the rest will follow more easily than you think.

3. Make Exercise Enjoyable

Working out doesn't have to feel like a chore. If you're hitting the gym, bring along your phone to listen to your favorite tunes, an audiobook, or a podcast. Or, pick a sport you genuinely enjoy, such as soccer, tennis, swimming, or volleyball. Adding a social element can also make exercising more enjoyable.

4. Work Out with a Friend

Exercising with someone else can be both fun and motivating. It's easier to stay committed when you have company, and you can both encourage each other to keep going when motivation wanes.

5. Exercise for Yourself

View exercise as an investment in your health and well-being. Do it for yourself without worrying about others' opinions. Your health is your priority, and you deserve to lead a healthy life.

These steps are about finding what works for you and making exercise a positive and integral part of your lifestyle, especially when managing diabetes.

Workout at Home

Incorporating a home workout routine can be a game-changer for diabetics looking to stay active and manage their condition effectively. Exercising at home offers flexibility, convenience, and a safe environment to tailor your workouts to your specific needs and fitness level.

Start with simple, low-impact exercises such as walking in place, stretching, or using resistance bands to build strength. You can also explore online fitness classes designed for diabetic patients, offering a range of activities from yoga to cardiovascular exercises that help regulate blood sugar levels.

How Exercise Improves Insulin Sensitivity

Research shows that a more organic and stable way of enhancing insulin sensitivity is diabetes related exercise. According to diabetes experts, "A one hour walk at a moderate speed improves your insulin sensitivity for approximately two days." Different sorts of resistance exercises also play a vital role in this.

Now the question is what the resistance exercises at home are? Resistance exercises like squats, lunges, push-ups and planks can be easily done at home without equipment. All exercises which push you to your limit and improve your stamina are resistance exercises at home.

Does It Help To Drink Plenty Of Water?

It's proven and tested fact that drinking enough water can lower the blood pressure and help detox the body cells. Water eliminates harmful substances in your body and provides the pancreas with a more efficient way to maintain the sugar levels in your blood.

Drinking water can help you get a faster metabolism and thus burn more calories. Drinking water gives a fuller feeling and reduces the risk of a need for (high-calorie) food. Drinking water instead of diet soda can increase insulin sensitivity.

During exercise you lose a lot of moisture through sweating and those who do not drink in time will suffer from dehydration or cramps. Your blood thickens and it takes your heart more effort to pump it around, resulting in less oxygen and energy.

Can Exercise Reverse Type 2 Diabetes?

It is believed that exercise can reverse diabetes and has long-lasting effects on your health. While type 1 diabetes cannot be reversed, studies show exercise can reverse prediabetes and type 2 diabetes in some cases. The diabetic dealing with type 1 is already immunocompromised and it can't be reversed. They can start with physical activity but it will only affect their overall health and their diabetes management.

While the diabetic with type 2 will see more effects of exercise. According to the CDC, moderate activity 3-5 times a week along with a healthy diet can reverse type 2 diabetes for some patients. They can possibly reverse their diabetes when doing more exercise and staying active. Of course also a healthy lifestyle and diet is required to see these effects.


As we all know, starting a daily exercise routine, staying healthy and strong will help you manage your diabetes symptoms. The American Diabetes Association recommends getting 150 active minutes per week. This physically fit lifestyle releases endorphins, fights diabetes progression, improves mood, and has many other benefits.

It may seem challenging at first, but take it step-by-step. Stick to a consistent schedule, pick exercises you enjoy, stay hydrated, and monitor your blood sugar. With commitment to regular activity and a healthy diet, you can get your diabetes under control. Now is the time, you can do this!


At Diabetic Me, we are committed to delivering information that is precise, accurate, and pertinent. Our articles are supported by verified data from research papers, prestigious organizations, academic institutions, and medical associations to guarantee the integrity and relevance of the information we provide. You can learn more about our process and team on the about us page.

  1. WebMD The Best Exercises If You Have Diabetes
  2. Diabetes UK Diabetes and Exercise
  3. American Diabetes Association Fitness - It’s a great time to get moving
  4. CDC Being More Active Is Better for You

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About the Author

Ely Fornoville

Hi, I'm Ely Fornoville, and I am the founder of Diabetic Me. Being a type 1 diabetic since 1996, I developed a passion to help people learn more about diabetes. I write about diabetes and share stories from other diabetics around the world. I currently use a Medtronic Guardian 4 CGM and a MiniMed 780G insulin pump with Humalog insulin.

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