Aerobic Exercise Can Help Improve Your Blood Glucose

Are you one of the 39% of adults with type 2 diabetes who is physically active? If so, congratulations! If not, now is the time to get active! Starting a regular habit of aerobic exercise can be the first step you take in gaining better control of your blood glucose levels.

How does exercise help control my blood glucose?

Aerobic Exercise Can Help Improve Your Blood GlucoseIf you are already exercising, you may notice that you need less medicine to keep your blood glucose in your target range. You need lower doses because exercise helps your muscles use insulin better. Exercise also helps you lose weight, which can make all parts of your body better at using insulin.

Is exercise safe for me?

Always talk to your healthcare provider before you start an exercise plan so you can find out if it’s safe for you, and what kinds of exercises are best. And, be sure to use good judgment. If you have an injury, asthma, a physical disability, or chronic pain, you should take special care not to push yourself to exercise in way that might cause you to hurt yourself.

That said, aerobic exercise is one of the first things your healthcare provider will suggest you do to manage your diabetes. You might be concerned that you can’t exercise because you haven’t done anything physical in a long time. You are not alone! Most people with type 2 diabetes are overweight. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that is often diagnosed later in life, when the amount of physical activity you do has started to decline. Depending on your current level of physical fitness, there is something for everyone when it comes to exercise.

What is aerobic exercise?

Aerobic exercise is any exercise that raises your heart rate. Depending on your current level of physical activity, something as simple as walking around your house could be considered aerobic exercise. For people that are very active, aerobic activity might include running, biking or taking an aerobics class at the gym.

Walking Running Hiking
Swimming Biking Dancing
Aerobics Classes Tennis Cross Country Skiing
Rowing Kickboxing Circuit Training

How often should I exercise?

For the best results, experts think that you exercise a total of 150 minutes a week—this works out to 30 minutes, 5 days each week. Don’t worry if this seems like more than you can handle! Just get started. Even 5 minutes, 3 times a week is a good starting point. Once you begin, it will slowly get easier for you to work harder and work longer.

How do I get started on an aerobic exercise plan?

If you are new to exercise, the best advice is to start slow. Make an appointment with your healthcare provider to discuss starting an aerobic exercise program. They will probably have some advice for you. It is important that your healthcare provider knows about your new exercise plan. They might need to decrease your dose of insulin or oral medicines as you get more active and your body begins to use insulin better.

Remember, do whatever you can. Any aerobic exercise you are able to do will help move you toward better health. Get started today!



(45 Articles)

Dr. Robert Ehrman, MD is a Board Certified Emergency Physician. He completed his training in Emergency Medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital in New Haven, CT and Cook County Hospital in Chicago, IL. He always reminds his patients that the more they take care for their health each day, the less likely they are to visit him again in the ER!

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