Exercising with diabetes

More than one in 20 people in the UK now suffers from diabetes. Being active not only reduces the risk of developing the disease, but exercising just three or four times a week can help manage diabetes and decrease the risks of developing diabetes-related conditions.

Benefits of exercise for diabetics

  • Improves cardiovascular function
  • Enhances blood glucose control by improving the action of insulin and can help reduce insulin requirements by up to 50%
  • Reduces the chance of suffering vascular problems
  • Helps control weight

Exercise guidelines

There are increased exercise risks associated with diabetes but these are far outweighed by the benefits. Follow these simple guidelines to ensure you stay safe.

  • Obtain medical clearance before beginning an exercise programme.
  • Check your blood sugar levels before and after exercising to avoid hypoglycaemia
  • Never exercise alone.
  • Exercise 30 to 90 minutes after insulin injection.
  • Eat 30 minutes before exercise and take a snack with you in case your blood sugar drops too low.
  • Drink plenty of water before, during and after your workout.
  • Wear comfortable, supportive footwear and check your feet for blishers before and after exercising.
  • Avoid high impact exercises.

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