Diabetes Management

5 Best Exercises To Maintain Diabetes

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By Apollo 24|7, Published on- 12 June 2023, Updated on - 01 September 2023

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Want to take charge of your diabetes and achieve stable blood sugar levels? Here are some dynamic workouts designed to maintain diabetes and boost your overall well-being. From the gentle rhythm of walking to the invigorating challenge of high-intensity intervals, we have curated a list of 5 types of exercises that can help you manage your blood sugar levels efficiently.

Exercise 1: Walking

  • As per Harvard Medical School, walking is a great exercise for diabetic patients as it can help lower blood sugar, make your heart healthier, and help you manage your weight.
  • To start walking, set small goals based on how fit you are. Start with a brisk 10-minute walk and eventually elongate it to a 30-minute walk. Then, gradually walk farther and faster as you get more comfortable.
  • Find ways to walk more in your everyday life, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a brisk walk during your lunch break. The best time to walk is two to three hours after a meal.

Exercise 2: Strength Training

  • Strength training exercises for just 30 to 60 minutes a week may benefit individuals with diabetes by increasing muscle mass and improving insulin sensitivity.
  • Key exercises for diabetes management include squats, lunges, chest presses, rows, shoulder presses, deadlifts, planks, bicep curls, tricep dips, and leg presses.
  • Engaging in strength training exercises can enhance cardiovascular health, reduce blood pressure, and improve lipid profiles in individuals with diabetes.

Exercise 3: Swimming

  • Swimming is a great exercise for diabetic patients because it's gentle on the body and works out your whole body without putting too much pressure on your joints.
  • It makes your heart stronger, helps you become more flexible, and can help you manage your weight.
  • Join a swimming or water aerobics class. If you're new to swimming, start slowly and gradually increasing how long and hard you swim.

Exercise 4: Yoga

  • Yoga is the best exercise for those who wish to exercise at home. Yoga is the combination of different poses, breathing exercises, and meditation.
  • Some yoga poses, like the seated forward bend or the bridge pose, can be especially good for controlling blood sugar.
  • You can join a physical yoga class nearby or an online one to learn the yoga poses that can help with the management of diabetes.

Exercise 5: High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

  • High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is a type of exercise that involves doing short bursts of intense activity for people with diabetes, followed by short periods of rest.
  • HIIT can be really good for people with diabetes because it helps make your body better at using insulin and makes your heart healthier.
  • Start with exercises that are not too hard on your body, like cycling or swimming. Then, slowly make the intense parts of your workout harder and longer.

Precautions To Take While Exercising

When exercising with diabetes, precautions should be taken to avoid hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Signs of hypoglycemia include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Shakiness

If experiencing severe symptoms, stop exercising and seek medical attention immediately.

Keep a check on your blood sugar levels, Book Apollo's HbA1c Test 

To prevent hypoglycemia:

  • Rather than eating 3 big meals a day, eat small meals every 2 to 3 hours.
  • Monitor your blood sugar levels before, during, and after exercise to understand how medications and exercise affect your blood sugar levels.
  • Before exercising, eat a balanced snack and carry a source of fast-acting carbohydrates like glucose.
  • If a hypoglycemic incident occurs, stop exercising immediately, consume glucose or a sugary drink and recheck blood sugar levels after 15 minutes.


Incorporating regular exercise into your diabetes management plan is crucial for maintaining optimal health and well-being. The five aforementioned exercises can not only improve your blood sugar control but would also enhance your cardiovascular health. However, before taking up any new form of exercise, consult your doctor.

Consult Apollo’s Expert Diabetologists


1. How can exercise help control diabetes?

Exercise can help control diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity, thereby allowing the body to utilise sugar present in the blood.

2. How can I maintain my diabetes naturally?

You can maintain diabetes naturally by adopting a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, eating a balanced diet, and practising stress management.

3. Can exercise cause low blood sugar levels in people with diabetes?

Rigorous exercise can cause hypoglycemia in diabetic individuals if they are taking medication or insulin to maintain their blood sugar levels. Therefore, you should talk to your doctor before taking up any new exercise and keep glucose tablets handy at all times to avoid complications.

4. Can exercise reduce the risk of developing diabetes?

Regular exercise can significantly reduce the risk of developing diabetes and help manage blood sugar levels effectively.

5. Can daily exercise reverse diabetes?

Exercise is important for managing diabetes, but it may not reverse the condition entirely. A comprehensive approach involving exercise, diet, and medical intervention can help maintain normal blood sugar levels.


Medically reviewed by Dr Sonia Bhatt.

Diabetes Management

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