Examples of Aerobic exercises include:
brisk walking or hiking
low-impact aerobic exercise classes
How much aerobic activity is needed?
- 30 minutes daily of moderate physical aerobic activity
- at least 5 times weekly
This recommendation is for adults aged 18-64. Adults with diabetes should also aim to meet this target.
Those with a busy schedule may find it helpful to do several shorter workouts totaling 30 minutes daily.
Strength training, or resistance training, helps lower blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity.
Examples of strength training include:
lifting free weights
lifting heavy objects, such as bottles of water or canned food
exercises that use body weight such as sit-ups, squats, planks, and push-ups
strength training classes
How much strength training is needed?
Strength training should be undertaken at least twice a week, in addition to the recommended amount of aerobic activity.
Stretching exercises are important for everyone, including those with diabetes. Stretching:
- reduces the risk of injury from aerobic exercises or strength training
- increases flexibility
- prevents muscle soreness
- lowers stress levels
How much stretching training is needed?
It can be useful to consider incidental physical activity – everyday activities that aren’t classed as exercise but involve movement.
Types of incidental physical activities include:
taking the stairs instead of the elevator
walking to the bus stop
moderate intensity gardening
walking around the shopping mall
washing the car
Monitoring blood glucose levels when exercising
To exercise safely, many people with diabetes – particularly those with type 1 diabetes or those on diabetes medications – may need to check their blood glucose levels before, during, and after exercise.
This indicates how well the body is responding to exercise, and may help avoid blood sugar fluctuations, which can be dangerous.