Best Exercises for Patients With Diabetes

The recommendation to exercise regularly is not unique to those with diabetes. Most people benefit from getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week (more if you have time).

But, you may wonder if you have specific exercise guidelines due to your diabetes, or if you should focus on certain activities. Truly, just about any exercise that you feel comfortable with is appropriate for you. Here at Medinet Family Care Clinic, we just want you to get moving!

If you don’t have a regular exercise routine or are looking to shake things up a bit, here are some examples of good exercises to include. But this list is by no means exhaustive, so do whatever exercise you enjoy.


Walking is accessible to most people and can be adapted to a variety of fitness levels. Invest in a decent pair of supportive shoes – we can make recommendations – so you don’t suffer foot complications.


You may not think of gardening as exercise, but it requires energy and effort to pull weeds, dig beds, and water your lawn. An added benefit of gardening is that you get a beautiful yard as a result. 


Exercise doesn’t always have to be a chore. Join a dance class or turn up some tunes and move in front of your own mirror. Dancing can get your heart pumping and your lungs expanding just as effectively as other “classic” forms of exercise. 


You may enjoy biking as it effectively builds cardiovascular fitness without putting impact on your feet or joints. A stationary bike is available no matter what the weather is like outside. Outdoor rides allow you to explore local trails and scenery. 

Strength training

Strength training is an important part of any fitness routine. Don’t shy away just because you don’t have a set of weights at home. Join a gym and consult a trainer for assistance in learning exercises or rely on bodyweight exercises at home like squats, push-ups (even against the wall), and crunches.


Yoga strengthens your body, improves flexibility, and promotes relaxation. You might enjoy it as a way to reduce the stress of managing your disease. So many yoga styles exist that it’s possible to find one that matches your physical and emotional needs. 

Why is exercise good for someone with diabetes?

Studies show that people with diabetes benefit from focused exercise. Regular exercise improves blood glucose control in people with Type 2 diabetes. And, if you haven’t yet developed Type 2 diabetes but do have the warning signs, regular exercise can delay or prevent its development altogether. 

For patients with Type 1 diabetes, regular exercise improves cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, and insulin sensitivity. 

Of course, it’s a good idea to check in with us before starting an exercise routine. Everyone is unique when it comes to blood glucose management and exercise tolerance. Exercise recommendations may vary according to the type of diabetes you have, the activity you’re pursuing, and whether you have any diabetic complications.

So how long do I have to move?

At least 30 minutes of aerobic activity, five times per week is a good idea. If you don’t have 30 minutes to devote in one block, or you don’t have the stamina to keep up a heart-pumping intensity for that long, it’s OK to break up your exercise into segments of 10 minutes or longer.

If you’re ready to come talk to us about your personal exercise recommendations, or you have questions about diabetes management, call our nearest office in either Houston or Sugar Land, Texas. Or you can use the online booking tool to schedule your appointment right now while you’re visiting our website.

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