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Get active

Disclaimer: It is always advised to seek medical clearance and discuss exercise with your healthcare team before starting a new plan.

You might be wondering, does exercise lower blood sugar levels? Regular exercise can help you control your blood sugar levels, lose weight, and improve your physical and mental health. 

Even a slight increase in physical activity can make a difference. If you have not been active for a while, start with just 5–10 minutes of exercise a day and add a few minutes each week until you reach your goal. 

Low impact diabetes exercises 

When starting a new routine, find an activity that suits you. This may help you to stick with it and enjoy the benefits of an active lifestyle.

Here are some ideas for low-impact activities to help you get started.  

  • Stretching and balancing activities like  Pilates  increase flexibility and strength and can prepare you for other activities, like swimming
  • Tai chi builds upper body strength, reduces stiffness, and combines mindfulness to help you stay focused 
  • Dancing is an aerobic activity: it raises your heart rate, burns calories and fat, and can support cardiovascular health
  • Exercising with weights can build strength and help with weight loss. If you are not experienced, do not try this without supervision 
  • Walking or hiking are enjoyable ways to spend time with friends or family – just make sure you wear suitable shoes
  • Swimming can be easy on the joints and works all the main muscle groups 

No matter which activity you pick, what is important is that you incorporate as much movement as you can into your day. Remember to exercise safely - check with your doctor before starting any exercise more strenuous than a walking  programme.

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  1. Diabetes UK. Diabetes and exercise. Available from: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/exercise. Last accessed: May 2022.
  2. Diabetes UK. tai chi can help control type 2 diabetes. Available from: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/about_us/news_landing_page/2008/tai-chi-can-help-control-type-2-diabetes. Last accessed: May 2022.
  3. Diabetes UK. Swimming when you have diabetes. Available from: https://www.diabetes.org.uk/guide-to-diabetes/managing-your-diabetes/exercise/swimming-diabetes. Last accessed: May 2022.
  4. Healthline. Are 5-Minute Daily Workout Routines Really Beneficial? Available from: https://www.healthline.com/health/5-minute-daily-workout-routines-really-beneficial#What-the-science-says. Last accessed May 2022.