What is the best exercise for diabetics?

It’s not easy to live with the constraints of diabetes every day. Blood sugar levels to monitor, treatments, blood tests … Physical exercise helps to cope better with this situation, to maintain energy and morale. By regulating your blood sugar, it can even reduce the doses of medication needed.
Before you start …
Sports should be fun … so it is better to choose one that you like and that you can practice near you. Otherwise, you risk leaving it easily.
Setting goals – reasonable – and a start date helps motivate yourself.
A medical examination is advised, it allows to choose the most suitable sporting activity.

For type 2 diabetes

Exercising regularly decreases the risk of health accidents over the course of a person’s life. This is even more true in diabetics, because their blood vessels are more fragile.
Exercising improves insulin activity and decreases weight, which helps reduce vascular complications.
Among the recommended activities: walking, cycling, swimming.
But it is just as important to adopt new reflexes to move as much as possible during the day. On the bus or metro, get off one station before your arrival point.
At work, instead of waiting for the elevator, take the stairs for one or two floors.
In department stores, stop taking the escalators, take the stairs. There is much more space and always fewer people!
At the supermarket, do not try at all costs to park as close as possible to the entrance. There are many more free spaces at the edge of the parking lot, and you will walk a few more meters.
For short-distance walking that you already do every day, walk at a faster pace. Without even realizing it, you will exert yourself more.

For type 1 diabetes

The announcement of the disease in young people should not prevent them from continuing the sport. On the contrary. But the practice must be reported to the doctor.
The advantages of sport are numerous: the body responds better to the action of insulin, the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels by increasing its use by cells. Practicing a sport also requires the muscles, which are large consumers of glucose.
Working out brings physical benefits and helps relieve the stress that illness can cause. You just need to learn to manage your diabetes according to your activities, to reduce your insulin doses when the need arises, to have a snack in the middle or after your workout …


It is necessary to drink during the effort.
Check blood sugar more frequently to prevent hypoglycemia: insulin pens should be near you if the effort lasts a long time.
Always carry sugar with you in case of hypoglycemia.
Provide carbohydrate snacks in case of prolonged exercise: cereal bar, apple sauce, bread … Warn those around you of your diabetes and be supported.
Pay attention to your feet (choose flexible, good quality shoes).
Know the reactions of your body during physical exercise.

Recommended sports

Endurance sports are favored because they are good for the heart, the cardiovascular system, the breath, and they allow a better adaptation of insulin and diet.
Individual sports: jogging, walking, cycling, dancing, skating …
Team sports: football, basketball, racket sports …
Soft activities: gymnastics, archery, golf …

Sport to avoid

Any sport where you are likely to be alone, because someone must be nearby if you feel unwell: climbing, parachuting, surfing, diving, mountaineering, aviation …
Any violent sport: boxing, martial arts, rugby …
Any sport that can lead to weight gain: weight lifting, bodybuilding …

Watch out for the mountain

Above 1,500m, blood glucose meters are less accurate.
Above 2,500m, watch out for symptoms identical to those of hypoglycemia.
For a prolonged stay in altitude, a complete assessment of diabetes must be carried out.

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