7 Tips to Help You Stick With Exercise When Managing Type 2 Diabetes


You might be suffering from type 2 diabetes; in that case you would need to exercise regularly to handle the blood sugar level as well as your weight. Now exercise is a great way for reducing the chances of getting heart attacks, strokes, etc. Many studies clearly show that exercising can reduce cardiovascular risk factors and even promote overall health.

Through exercising, you can avoid the development of diabetes among the people that suffer from the prediabetes. As per many studies, it shows that people need to get at least 150 minutes of moderate amount of exercising, especially intensity aerobic exercise each week to fight against diabetes.

In the absences of the contraindications like the moderate to the high retinopathy, it is necessary for one to go through two sessions of strength training exercise and that too each week. Do you know that the major benefit of exercise is weight loss? The compliance with the exercise program that you are going with needs to be extremely consistent. In that case, you can see lasting and required results.

Sometimes you might end up being sedentary. Well, in that case, you can think about beginning an exercise program. Also, it would be a great idea if you consult with your doctor at first, just before you start. That way, there would be no restrictions and any kind of special precautions. It is always better if you begin gradually and then create your personal goal.

Regular Exercising Is Still Necessary During Covid- 19 Pandemic

Of course, regular exercise is great for people that want to manage diabetes. When it concerns the most basic levels, exercising would increase the insulin sensitivity. Many studies clearly show that it can even affect one’s weight as well as the blood sugar level too.

During the pandemic, it would seem an inappropriate time to begin doing the physical activities, however, CDC (Centre for Disease Control and Prevention) reports that people suffering from underlying health conditions, even the ones having diabetes have the high risk of suffering from COVID-19. These are most common among people whose conditions are not managed properly. Hence, there is no time better to put one’s health first.

How Can Exercising Affect Blood Sugar Level?

Whenever, you are exercising, your body would require extra amount of energy from the blood sugar. These are called as glucose. Here when you are doing something quick, like sprinting to catch a bus, the muscles and liver of your body would release glucose as fuel. When you are exercising, it would lower these levels.

If you are taking diabetes med or insulin, the boost in workout intensity and length leads to adjustment in the medication, snacks, and even both. Of course, a chat with your doctor would be great in such cases.

The biggest payoff would come when you are doing moderate exercise for a long time like hiking. In such activity, the muscles would take a lot of glucose and that can easily lower the blood sugar levels. When you are doing intense amount of exercise, the blood sugar levels can rise and that would be temporarily as soon as you stop.

When you are exercising too hard, it would raise your blood sugar level and that makes it harder for the muscle cells to use insulin. Doing workouts would help in pumping up and that can lead to small tears on the muscle fibers. Frankly, whenever they heal, the muscles become stronger.

However, if you are not doing or used to any kind of super-tough workouts like the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training), they can lead to huge damage as days go by, and especially when you feel like moving again. Well, in this case, the muscle cells will not be using insulin properly and that can boost your blood sugar.

Sometimes, it would rise as soon as you skip the workouts. If you are sore, you can make up to the next gym session, and you would have to dial it down. Frankly, there is no rush. Here it is better if you can create intensity in the slow manner as soon as you get used to the routine. The positive aspect is that you are going to get used to it as you are not feeling like you have been through the wringer.

Can It Harm Your Joints?

Long-term diabetes would affect your joints. Now over time, the blood sugar can begin to get build up and the whole procedure is called as ‘glycation’. By having good control over your disease would easily delay that. However, the longer you are going to have diabetes, the more likely it would occur.

The glycation can easily make your joints stiff as well as brittle. When you are doing HIIT exercises or making a lot of fast moves, it would be dangerous. It is simply risky and one wrong move can make you get injured.

There are certain routines that you need to do every time and repeatedly. Those would lead to serious issues. Stiff joints can even affect your balance and make you fall too.

Amount of Exercise People With Diabetes Have to Do

As per the research work done all over the world, most adults suffering from Type 1 and 2 diabetes would have to do 150 minutes of moderate and vigorous exercises. These should be done every week and can even spread to around three days. That should be followed by two days of consecutive inactivity.

Sometimes you would be physically fit. In that case, you can engage in high-intensity and interval training. For that reason, you need to do only 74 minutes each week. Most importantly, it is necessary to incorporate resistance training for two to three days in a week and these should be at least a single day among the workouts.

Also, you do need to get rid of being in the prolonged sitting position. For that you should get up and move as well stretch around for couple of minutes each time, at least half-an-hour. Some studies show that people suffer from Type 2 diabetes that do aerobic and strength-training exercises in their routine would have improved blood sugar control. All this after doing 12 just weeks of exercising.

Are You Having Any Complications?

You might be suffering from certain health issues when you are a Type 2 diabetic patient. Also, it would get worst and even boost the odds of suffering from certain injury. All these are based on the type of exercise you are doing.

Diabetes related nerve damage can be serious. This is what your doctor would call as peripheral neuropathy. That would make you lose the feeling of your toes and feet. Plus, it would affect the balance of yours and even increases the chances of falling.

Hence, if you need try, then avoid jumping or running. Go for exercises that will not impact your joints like swimming. Also, another major kind of nerve damage which is automatic neuropathy. That can make you faint as and when you move around too fast.

Another issue that you would have is eye issue. Diabetes can lead to the new blood vessels to develop in your eyes. This would be called by your doctor as ‘proliferative retinopathy’. They would be weak and even be leaky.

Not only that when you jump, lift heavy weights, or make jarring movements, the fragile blood vessels can end up in bleeding.

Sticking With a Good Exercise Plan

There are multiple benefits when you are exercising. That will not be easy to keep up with the workout plans. You would be having troubles in being motivated. In that case, you should try these seven major tips for maintaining the momentum. Plus, you do need to make these exercises a permanent aspect of your day-to-day life and diabetes management routine.

1. Take a Physical Activity That You Would Enjoy

You would be sticking to the exercise plan only when you have fun in doing it. Also, it must be invigorating and suiting your abilities. For example, sometimes you will not enjoy walking on the treadmill, and it would be hard to stay motivated when you step on it as well as stay on it, every day.

If you like to walk briskly outside if you want, do it. It would be better if you do in proper gears and ensure that the weather is proper. You need to make time for it every day.

2. Taking Small Steps Whenever You Start Any Exercise Routine

You would be a lazy person that suddenly runs five miles on the first day of the exercises. Then you can score on the second day with majority of blisters on your feet and be ready to throw in the towel.

Rather, you must get used to the fact that you need to be active. Most doctors recommend that you should begin by walking slowly for ten minutes each day and that too at comfortable pace. As soon as your fitness levels improve, just aim for adding three to five minutes to your walking routines each week. All these should be till you reach the goal of thirty minutes of brisk walking, which amounts to around five days a week.

3. Utilizing Buddy System for Increasing Accountability

Have you ever thought about live streaming the exercise class online? Watch that and do it with your buddies.

Well, it is great to have someone to exercise with. That helps to pass the time more quickly. Also, it takes your mind off the effort you need to exercise. Here it is all about choosing a friend that will make you feel accountable and one that encourages you to come for the exercise session.

4. Make Sure to Schedule the Sweat Sessions

Always Make Sure to Block Out the Time in the Daily Planner. This Is Mostly Importantly When You Are More Likely to Allow the Days to Pass From You.

When You See That You Are Exercising Every Day, That Reminds You It Is a Huge Priority. At Times, You Can Break the Exercise Routine and That Too Into Smaller Chunks All Around the Day. A Ten-Minute Workout Before the Work and Ten Minutes on the Lunch Break Sound Good.

5. Try to Reward Yourself With Some Healthy Treats

Try to celebrate milestones like following your plan at least once a week, month or two and so on. Here you need to avoid celebrating it with food. Just use this opportunity for achieving your fitness goals and taking it to the next level.

Make sure to treat yourself to any kind of online shopping spree for the latest workout clothes, or try to sign up for an online boutique fitness class, etc.

6. Make Sure to Prep the Workouts in Advance

Always lack out the clothes for the morning workouts just before you are going to bed and at night too. You can even sleep in them too. Try to pack your gym bags so that you can easily grab it as soon as you leave the morning.

7. Always Check Your Blood Sugar Before and After Exercising

Here this can show how much exercise would improve the blood sugar control. As you are seeing how your body reacts to different types of exercises along with the length and intensity of your workout, that can motivate you to stick with what works. Try to be sure to keep glucose tablets or juice boxes in your gym bag or locker. That prevents the chances of low blood sugar.

Starting Exercise Routine Is Surely Great for Handling Diabetes

Some people never realize that following a good exercise routine takes a lot of patience and determination. However, you should never give up. As soon as you can see the necessary results, then do not stop. Go on with it. That is the biggest motivation you have.


As we all know regular exercising is great for one’s body. When it comes to Type 2 diabetes, then exercising is the perfect solution. You get to be active, healthy, and even get rid of the Type-2 diabetes.

Nothing makes that much simple. All you need to do is sweat and get your muscles moving.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.

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