Diabetes and exercise

Get active, your way!

Did you know that being physically active is good for diabetes?

The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) recommends physical activity at least between 3 to 5 days a week, for a minimum of 30-45 minutes. Anything from traditional exercise like swimming or cycling to smaller things like walking to work instead of driving or using the stairs instead of the lift – it all counts!

Benefits of being active with diabetes include:
  • Helps the body use insulin better
  • Helps manage blood pressure
  • Helps improve cholesterol
  • Helps you lose weight
  • Helps energy levels
  • Helps you sleep better
  • Helps your joints and flexibility
  • Helps improve mental health

Physical activity is most effective when it includes a combination of both aerobic exercise and resistance training. It's best to do a mixture of different types of activity, because different types have different benefits and everyone is different!

Ultimately, its about finding what works for you. Think about, what do you enjoy? Where are you? How much time do you have? Find activities that can fit around with your life.

Get active as a hobby

Believe it or not, exercise can actually be fun! Why not try joining a gym? Taking up swimming? Joining group exercise classes? Who knows what might take your fancy and what you can achieve!

Get active at home

There are plenty of options when it comes to getting active when you're at home. Kill two birds with one stone - many household chores require significant physical effort, embrace and enjoy it! Activities like gardening and cleaning will feel less like a chore if you consider it as exercise.

Get active at work

Even in an office job there are opportunities to get active! Simple substitutions can have a positive effects daily. Can you walk/cycle to or part way to work? Can you take the stairs instead of using the lift? Can you stand while talking on the phone? Can you go for a walk during your break? Challenge yourself to do as many steps as possible during your work day!


Making healthier changes and fitting the demands of diabetes into a lifestyle may be tricky from time to time, but taking each day as it comes is advised from our very own Places for People CEO, Greg Reed. As a keen runner, and Type 2 Diabetic, facing the facts following his diagnosis and adapting his lifestyle to follow suit are something he's familiar with.

Read more about his story here

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