What kind of exercise should diabetics do?

The important thing to remember when considering what exercise to take up, is that it has to be sustainable! One of the most important factors to good diabetic control is exercise, and it’s important that whatever you choose is something you’re not going to get tired of – something that will keep you engaged.


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Opinions differ on what is the best kind of exercise for diabetics, but it depends a lot on your lifestyle. Do you have a lot of time, or can you only spare half an hour a day? Do you like going to a gym, or are you more of an outdoors person? Do you want to exercise in a group or team, or are you happier going solo? Are you comfortable doing something high impact that will have a dramatic effect on your blood sugar, or would you rather play it safe and do something less strenuous that also offers a lower level of fitness?

Once you have these answers, you can start narrowing down what kind of sport you like doing. In general, doctors recommend something low impact like swimming or walking as it gradually burns calories and lowers blood sugar slower than more energetic sports like soccer or dancing. That said, any exercise can be tailored to fit your diabetic regime – just chat to your biokineticist or doctor about how to manage it.

The goal is 30 minutes of exercise 5 times a week – entirely possible if you know how to plan your time well!

What kind of exercise do you do?

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Sweet Life is a South African diabetic community for those who have diabetes, both Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. Join us to get our free quarterly magazine and monthly newsletter. Life can be sweet with diabetes.

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