Diabetes and Exercise

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Diabetes and Exercise

Diabetes is one disorder wherein lifestyle modification (physical activity and healthy eating) plays as important a role as medications to control sugar. Regular exercise could bring about a change from "medical management" to "lifestyle management" in patients with Type 2 diabetes.

A Regular exercise regimen in the diabetes-afflicted helps in the better control of blood sugar and reduces the demand for medication by 20%.

Exercise is often advised as the only form of therapy in diabetes when the sugar level is between below 200 to 250 mg/dl, provided there are no complications like:

  • Damage to the blood vessels of the eye or retinopathy
  • Damage to the nerves and circulation to extremities or, neuropathy
  • Problems with kidneys or nephropathy
  • Heart related problems such as - angina

Patients with Type 2 diabetes, who regularly exercise, find that their blood glucose is better controlled, but on a day they miss their physical activity program, the glucose level tends to rise. Exercise is now considered an important tool for the long management of diabetes.


Physical activity of any type (e.g. walking, jogging, swimming, badminton, tennis or similar activity) should be incorporated into the daily routine. Choosing an activity that is enjoyable and is fun helps to sustain it over time. A variety of exercises must be selected and doing it with a partner or friend is helpful in avoiding boredom.

Nothing is to be found that can substitute for exercise in any way…. Exercise will expel the harm done by most of the bad regimens that most men follow. Not all motion is exercise. Exercise is powerful or rapid motion or a combination of both, vigorous motion which alters breathing and increases its rate. -Moses Maimonides, [1135-1204]

Diabetes Wallet Card

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