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D.A.I.L.Y. is a joint initiative of the Endocrine Society and its Hormone Health Network.
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Goal 4 | Physical Activity | 2 of 4
Links Between Physical Activity and Diabetes
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How physically active are you?

“I sit at work all day.”

Fitting some physical activity into your day is a great way to help you better manage your blood glucose levels and your weight. By doing some exercise, you also reduce your risk of getting the complications that can come with diabetes.

If you aren't currently involved in an exercise program, talk with your doctor about starting one that makes sense for you. Generally, you want to start slowly and gradually build up until you're getting at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise a day on most days of the week. The good news is that you don't have to get that all at once—you can break it into three 10-minute segments of brisk walking, for example.

video


Many people find that using a pedometer helps them track their walking progress. There are now many products on the market, from simple pedometers to wearable devices, available to help monitor your steps and activity levels. Alternatively, some people prefer to use their smart phones as pedometers, and there are good apps to help you do just that. Check the iTunes App Store or Google Play for Android apps.

Take opportunities throughout your day to get a little more physical activity in. Consider:

  • Parking farther away from your destination and walking.
  • Getting off the bus or subway a stop early and walking.
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Taking a brief break from work and walking around your office or factory building.
  • Taking the dog for a walk with the family.

Use this printable sheet to track your exercise. Be sure to count everything you do to get more physical activity into your day. You'll be surprised at how quickly it can build up to a good regular habit!

my activity tracker

Download pdf!

sit behind desk all day

Exercise and Diabetes

It is important to exercise, and it is important to exercise safely. This means being prepared for a possible dip into low blood glucose levels (also known as hypoglycemia). It's a good idea to keep your blood glucose monitor and test strips on hand any time you exercise. Checking your blood glucose levels before and after exercise will give you a good idea of how physical activity affects your blood glucose levels.

low glucose

When your blood glucose dips too low, you need to take action. Here's what to do:

  1. Check your blood glucose immediately.
  2. If it is too low, eat or drink 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate, which can include three or four glucose tablets or ½ cup (4 oz.) of fruit juice.
  3. Wait 15 minutes, then check your blood glucose again. If it's still too low, repeat step 2.
  4. If it's still too low after that, call your doctor immediately.
  5. If your blood glucose has risen, eat a small snack or your next planned meal if it is less than half an hour away.

“I know it's important for my health.”

Good for you! Walking is great exercise and does a world of good for your physical and mental health. A brisk walk goes a long way toward keeping your blood glucose and weight under control.

If you can get three 10-minute walking sessions in per day, you're doing great! If not, try to make that your goal and gradually expand your walking sessions to reach that goal. It is generally recommended that you get 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day on most days of the week. More is even better, of course!

video


Many people find that using a pedometer helps them track their walking progress. There are now many products on the market, from simple pedometers to wearable devices, available to help monitor your steps and activity levels. Alternatively, some people prefer to use their smart phones as pedometers, and there are good apps to help you do just that. Check the iTunes App Store or Google Play for Android apps.

Take opportunities throughout your day to get a little more physical activity in. Consider:

  • Parking farther away from your destination and walking.
  • Getting off the bus or subway a stop early and walking.
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Taking a brief break from work and walking around your office or factory building.
  • Taking the dog for a walk with the family.

Use this printable sheet to track your exercise. Be sure to count everything you do to get more physical activity into your day. You'll be surprised at how quickly it can build up to a good regular habit!

my activity tracker

Download pdf!

ladies walking

Exercise and Diabetes

It is important to exercise, and it is important to exercise safely. This means being prepared for a possible dip into low blood glucose levels (also known as hypoglycemia). It's a good idea to keep your blood glucose monitor and test strips on hand any time you exercise. Checking your blood glucose levels before and after exercise will give you a good idea of how physical activity affects your blood glucose levels.

low glucose

When your blood glucose dips too low, you need to take action. Here's what to do:

  1. Check your blood glucose immediately.
  2. If it is too low, eat or drink 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate, which can include three or four glucose tablets or ½ cup (4 oz.) of fruit juice.
  3. Wait 15 minutes, then check your blood glucose again. If it's still too low, repeat step 2.
  4. If it's still too low after that, call your doctor immediately.
  5. If your blood glucose has risen, eat a small snack or your next planned meal if it is less than half an hour away.

“I feel great after a workout!”

Fantastic! You are making a big difference in managing your blood glucose and supporting your overall health. Keep up the good work!

Many people find that using a pedometer helps them track their walking progress. There are now many products on the market, from simple pedometers to wearable devices, available to help monitor your steps and activity levels. Alternatively, some people prefer to use their smart phones as pedometers, and there are good apps to help you do just that. Check the iTunes App Store or Google Play for Android apps.

video


Take opportunities throughout your day to get a little more physical activity in. Consider:

  • Parking farther away from your destination and walking.
  • Getting off the bus or subway a stop early and walking.
  • Taking the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator.
  • Taking a brief break from work and walking around your office or factory building.
  • Taking the dog for a walk with the family.

Some people find it helpful to track their exercise in order to see how they're doing. You can use this printable sheet to track your exercise. Be sure to count everything you do to get more physical activity into your day. You'll be surprised at how quickly it can build up to a good regular habit!

my activity tracker

Download pdf!

happy after workout

Exercise and Diabetes

It is important to exercise, and it is important to exercise safely. This means being prepared for a possible dip into low blood glucose levels (also known as hypoglycemia). It's a good idea to keep your blood glucose monitor and test strips on hand any time you exercise. Checking your blood glucose levels before and after exercise will give you a good idea of how physical activity affects your blood glucose levels.

low glucose

When your blood glucose dips too low, you need to take action. Here's what to do:

  1. Check your blood glucose immediately.
  2. If it is too low, eat or drink 15 grams of fast-acting carbohydrate, which can include three or four glucose tablets or ½ cup (4 oz.) of fruit juice.
  3. Wait 15 minutes, then check your blood glucose again. If it's still too low, repeat step 2.
  4. If it's still too low after that, call your doctor immediately.
  5. If your blood glucose has risen, eat a small snack or your next planned meal if it is less than half an hour away.