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The Best Exercises for Blood Sugar

Diabetes is a chronic condition where the body either doesn't produce or cannot process insulin efficiently. People who have diabetes need to be very careful about what they eat and how much exercise they do because their blood sugar levels are always changing.

Exercise has many benefits for people with diabetes, but does it help control blood sugar? Exercise lowers blood sugar by increasing insulin production and time for glucose to enter cells. If you have diabetes, you must talk to your doctor before starting an exercise program. Here are some excellent exercises for people with diabetes.


Walking is one of the best exercises for anyone, and it's an excellent exercise for people with diabetes. Start by walking half a day and shooting for an hour or 60 minutes a day in a few months. Walking burns calories and builds muscle that helps your body process glucose more efficiently. Also, walking helps your heart and brain.


Running is great exercise for diabetics, but you need to be careful. Running can increase your blood sugar quickly and reduce your insulin sensitivity if you're overweight or out of shape. If you get the OK from your doctor, give running a try. Start slowly, and run only a few minutes at first. You can gradually increase the time and distance. Try to walk back with your hands on your hips whenever you run. This allows you to catch your breath and take some deep breaths. This is especially important when you're running fast.

Using the Elliptical Trainer

The elliptical trainer is a good addition to any exercise program for people with diabetes. It can increase insulin sensitivity and work all the muscles in your body without putting much stress on joints such as the knees and elbows, as running does. Also, working at the same resistance level can help with blood sugar control because it can even out blood sugar spikes sometimes caused by high-intensity exercise. Run or walk at a constant speed, and you can vary your resistance on the elliptical to gradually increase or decrease the amount of work you do as your fitness level increases.


Swimming is one of the best exercises for diabetics. It's low-impact, so it puts little stress on joints. Also, swimming improves muscle strength and flexibility without exerting pressure on your joints. Lastly, swimming is great exercise for people with diabetes because it increases insulin production and the time glucose spends in your cells. In addition, swimming can help you lose weight, and a lower body weight lowers blood sugar levels.

Using Hand Weights or Other Resistance Equipment

Hand weights or exercise equipment that provides resistance, such as elastic bands, can be an effective way for people with diabetes to build muscle strength. Muscle strength helps your body process glucose by releasing insulin and lowering blood sugar. Also, muscles take up less space than fat, lowering your body fat percentage and giving you extra room for food.


You won't lose any weight or burn many calories by dancing, but it's a great way for people with diabetes to tone up without putting stress on their joints. Some dancing is aerobic, while others use weight resistance to work muscles. For instance, use drinking straws filled with small bells to create music on the dance floor.


Badminton is a great exercise for people who have diabetes and arthritis. You can use a badminton racket and shuttlecock to improve your fitness, joint strength, and range of motion. Improve stamina, flexibility, upper body strength, and accuracy with the shuttlecock. Make sure the badminton court has an area with a hard surface, so you don't injure yourself while playing.


Yoga has many benefits for people with diabetes because it can help control blood sugar and keep you healthy. In addition, yoga is a mind-body exercise that helps you relax and slows your heart rate. Yoga also reduces stress and anxiety, strengthens the body and mind, and increases flexibility. Many types of yoga suit different interests, including Kundalini, Hatha, Ashtanga, and Vinyasa.


Another way to incorporate regular exercise into your life is to replace some of your trips with biking. Several health benefits are associated with biking over driving, including increased capacity to exercise and a lower cholesterol level, among others. Do not bike if you have diabetes and are taking blood sugar medications.

Tennis, Cardio & Strength Training

Tennis and other card games don't burn many calories, but they can be a good way to exercise. Cardio workouts can help build muscles and lower your heart rate, while strength training strengthens bones, muscles, and tendons. Also, fitness machines such as NordicTrack treadmills can be used for interval training—working hard for a minute or so, followed by active recovery periods when you rest.

Climb Stairs

In addition to walking upstairs, you can use the stairs in your home or office to increase your exercise time. Climb at least ten flights of stairs daily; doing this will improve your heart health, lower blood pressure and help you manage weight. When you go upstairs, always use the handrails.

Plenty of water

While not an exercise, it is essential to drink plenty of water daily, and it is crucial for those with diabetes. Dehydration can cause high blood sugar and make you sick. If you exercise, be sure to drink sports drinks that will keep your body hydrated while you're exercising.


Gardening can provide a distraction from diabetes, and it doesn't take a lot of time to do. You don't have to be an expert gardener to make your yard healthy. It's easy to plant annuals in containers or select flowering plants so you can enjoy the flowers year-round. Identifying the right plants for your region and soil type is good practice for growing healthy food at home. You can also grow at home, including lettuce, herbs, peppers, potatoes, and tomatoes.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi has been practiced for thousands of years for health and self-control, and it's now used to improve heart health and lower blood cholesterol. Tai Chi can also help improve joint flexibility, stimulate the mind, increase energy and enhance flexibility.

When you are diagnosed with diabetes, you must consider what exercise program will best suit you. The above exercises all have their benefits for people with diabetes, but any exercise is better than none at all. Talk with your doctor about how much exercise is suitable for you and your individual health needs.


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The content on this page is for informational and educational purposes only and does not constitute professional medical advice. Patients should not use the information presented on this page for diagnosing a health-related issue or disease. Before taking any medication or supplements, patients should always consult a physician or qualified healthcare professional for medical advice or information about whether a drug is safe, appropriate or effective.