Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Exercise Do's and Don'ts for Diabetics


Do Consult your health care provider before beginning an exercise plan.

Do Start slowly and increase activity gradually.

Do Choose an activity you enjoy. Try a water exercise program, walking, riding a stationary bicycle, swimming or muscle stretching.

Do Make exercise a lifetime commitment.

Do Exercise at least three to four times per week. Aim for a total of 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 90 minutes of vigorous exercise each week.

Do Wear good shoes and take care of your feet.

Do Test blood glucose levels before and after exercise.

Do Bring a carbohydrate-based food along if you are taking insulin or an oral glucose-lowering medication.

Do Exercise with someone who knows you have diabetes and knows what to do if you have a low blood glucose reaction.

Do Wear a medical identification tag or carry an identification card that says you have diabetes.

Don't Get dehydrated. Drink water before, during and after exercise.

Don't Risk hypoglycemia. Follow a regular exercise, food and medication routine each day.

Don't Participate in prolonged or strenuous exercise without first consulting your physician. During strenuous exercise the body produces adrenaline and other hormones that can counteract the effects of insulin and cause blood glucose to rise.

Don't Ignore pain. You may cause stress or damage to joints.


More to Explore