Managing diabetes is not easy because it comes with different comorbidities, but did you know that weight management and physical fitness can do a lot to help with managing it?

Simple exercises actually help you use insulin better and lower your blood sugar. Here’s how:

There are a few ways that exercise lowers blood glucose (sugar):

  • Insulin sensitivity is increased, so your muscle cells are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after activity.
  • When your muscles contract during activity, your cells are able to take up glucose and use it for energy whether insulin is available or not.

This is how exercise can help lower blood glucose in the short term. And when you are active on a regular basis, it can also lower your A1C. (

But, before doing exercises, it is recommended that you consult your doctor first to see what kinds of exercises are safe for you!

Safety Tips for Getting Started with Physical Fitness Activities

Once you’ve met with your doctor and set up your goals and plans, start slowly and exercise safely. This means:

  • Avoid exercising when you don’t feel well.
  • Avoid exercising outside if it is very cold or very hot.
  • Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water before, during and after exercise.
  • Wear a medical ID bracelet (if needed).
  • Wear supportive shoes with cushioned soles. Wear socks that absorb moisture. Check your feet after exercise for any bruising, redness or blisters.
  • If you feel short of breath or lightheaded during exercise or have any type of pain, stop exercising and check in with your doctor.

Notes on Stretching

Warm up before you exercise, including some comfortable stretching for 5 to 10 minutes. Take care not to over-stretch cold muscles; do a little light walking first. Stretch again once you finish exercising. Stretching should not be painful. And don’t bounce; just hold the stretch for several seconds. Also, improve your balance by walking backwards, walking heel-to-toe, and standing on one leg. Stretching and balancing exercises help keep you flexible and make you less likely to fall or injure yourself.

Calisthenics for an Obese Body

Walking is one of the best ways for obese people to start working out – if you have the room, you can walk laps in your backyard or inside the house. If you don’t have the room or the desire to walk at home, use low-impact calisthenics to get your cardio in without subjecting your joints to the repeated pounding of high-impact exercises. Low-impact cardio workouts that don’t require any special equipment include dancing, shadowboxing and modified calisthenics: Think jumping jacks with a step to the side instead of a hop, or fast, high knees with just one foot off the ground at a time. If you can’t do calisthenics with your full body, try doing just the upper-body component, such as boxing or doing jumping jacks with your arms alone.