Benefits of physical activity for people with type 2 diabetes
In people with type 2 diabetes, healthy eating and physical activity/exercise undertaken alongside other therapies lead to important benefits:
- Improve blood glucose control, enable insulin ‘to work better’
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease
- Maintain or lower body weight
- Improve mood, well-being and self esteem
- Improve musculoskeletal problems such as arthritis
Frequency and intensity of exercise
Guidelines are the same as for people without diabetes:
- Aim for 150 min per week of moderate-intensity exercise, split over at least 3 days
- Include 2 to 3 sessions per week of resistance exercise
- Keep sessions short at the beginning; do not push yourself too hard
- Start with a warm-up and finish with a cool-down (allow 10–20 min for each)
How intense should exercise be?
When exercising, you should be able to hold a conversation without being breathless
Which type of exercise is best for me?
The best kind of exercise is something you enjoy and is convenient!
Reminders for when you exercise:
Check glucose values before and after exercise, and during intense exercise
Drink water before, during and after exercise
High or low blood sugar allows you to anticipate hypo/ hyperglycaemia and to take corrective action
 ADA. Diabetes Care 2017;40(suppl 1):S1–S138; Siga et al. Diabetes Care 2006;29:1433–8
 ADA. Diabetes Care 2004;27(Suppl. 1):S58–62; Siga et al. Diabetes Care 2006;29:1433–8