Physical Activity & Diabetes

Talk with a qualified health care provider before beginning any exercise program. Start slowly—5-10 minutes of exercise each day. Aerobic exercise, which gets the heart beating faster and uses the large muscles, can help keep blood glucose in balance. It also can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and can improve feelings of well-being.

Simple ways to increase activity include the following:

  • Use a cordless phone and walk around while talking on the phone.
  • Walk the dog.
  • Mow the lawn or rake leaves.
  • Clean house.
  • Shop for groceries.
  • Take the stairs instead of an elevator.
  • Do errands that involve walking.
  • Park farther away from store entrances.

Ideas for daily exercise include the following:

  • Walking, jogging, or in-line skating
  • Ballroom, ballet, tap, jazz, or hip-hop dancing
  • Swimming
  • Bike riding
  • Playing basketball, volleyball, or tennis
  • Ice skating
  • Taking an aerobics class

Publication Review By: the Editorial Staff at

Published: 28 Feb 2007

Last Modified: 11 Sep 2015