6 Top Diabetics Exercises for People Who Have High Sugar

6 Top Diabetics Exercises for People Who Have High Sugar

Bajaj Finserv Health
December 06, 20214 mins read

Key Takeaways

  • Staying healthy with diabetes is a challenge a lot of people face
  • When diabetics exercise, they can easily manage diabetes syndromes
  • People with type 2 or type 1 diabetes can walk, swim or cycle

Exercise boosts your health. It also offers many surprising benefits for diabetic patients. With regular workouts, you can

All these play a major role in managing your diabetes. Thus, for all types of diabetics, exercise offers added benefits. If you have diabetes, exercise may lower your blood glucose levels and boost your body’s sensitivity to insulin [1]. Read on to know how to stay healthy with diabetes by doing the following workouts.

Additional Read: A Guide to 4 Kinds of Diabetes and Other Types of Blood Sugar Tests


When doctors meet with diabetics, exercise is often part of the discussion. Walking is one of the most prescribed exercises for people with type 2 diabetes. Walking is easy for you as you don’t require a gym membership or expensive equipment. All you need is a supportive pair of shoes and a place to walk. Go for a brisk 30-minute walk five days a week. It will help you reach the recommended goal of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise. Walking helps lower blood pressure levels and lose weight in people with type 2 diabetes.


If you are diabetic and have joint pain, opt for low-impact exercises such as cycling. With it, you can reduce the strain on your joints and meet your fitness goals. You can hit the road on a cycle or use a stationary bicycle. Try to cycle for at least 30 minutes a day 3 and 5 times a week. This will help you fight diabetes by increasing your heart rate, reducing your blood sugar, and putting a check on weight gain. This aerobic exercise makes your heart stronger, improves lungs health, and burns calories. A study conducted in 2021 including 7459 adults with type 2 or type 1 diabetes found that cycling lowers the risk of mortality in people with diabetes [2].

Food for diabetics


Swimming helps stretch and relax your muscles. It doesn’t put much strain on your joints. This is why it is a great exercise for people with diabetes. If you are a diabetic, swimming is a total body workout for you. Studies report that it lowers blood pressure, cholesterol, and stress levels, and burns calories [3]. Swim for at least 10 minutes 3 times a week.

Wear water shoes in the pool as type 2 diabetes can lead to foot complications like neuropathy. In this health condition, you may experience loss of feeling in your feet, so it is better to take preventive measures. Let the lifeguard know you have diabetes before getting into the swimming pool. A study reported that aquatic exercise works similarly to land-based exercise in lowering blood glucose levels [4].


Losing muscle mass makes it hard to maintain your blood sugar levels. This is why diabetics exercise for longer durations. But you can avoid this as weightlifting helps you build your muscles. Weight or strength training also helps you in burning calories, maintaining your weight, and making your muscles and bones stronger. Incorporate weightlifting in your weekly exercise routine at least twice a week. You can do this exercise at home by lifting canned goods or water bottles, and doing push-ups, sit-ups, squats, and lunges. Ask a trainer or join classes to learn how to lift weights safely and effectively.


A traditional approach to wellness, yoga offers low-impact exercises that help you build flexibility, strength, and balance. With yoga, you can improve your nerve function and lower your stress. Thus, it can boost your mental state and wellness. It can further control your blood sugar levels. A 2016 review revealed that people with diabetes can manage their blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight by doing yoga [5]. Yoga may also improve your sleep and mood, and lower your blood pressure. Studies have even found that such exercises can reduce symptoms of depression in people with type 2 diabetes.

Tai chi

Tai chi is an ancient Chinese exercise that relaxes the mind and body with slow and smooth body movements. It uses controlled movements along with visualization and deep breathing. This Chinese art helps with strength, mobility, balance, and flexibility. A meta-analysis published in 2018 concluded that tai chi effectively helps manage blood glucose and HbA1c levels in people with type-2 diabetes [6]. This exercise can lower stress levels and prevent nerve damage in your feet too.

Additional Read: 8 Best Green Vegetables for Diabetics to Add to Their Diet

For diabetics, exercise is a must, but workouts of high intensity are a no when your blood sugar is high. So, keep this in mind as you plan your workouts. If you have type 2 or type 1 diabetes and experience symptoms like breathlessness, dizziness, or light-headedness, stop your exercise and talk to a doctor. Talk to a specialist to get a list of exercises as per your health conditions. You can consult with the best doctors on Bajaj Finserv Health. This way, you can get proper guidance on the best foods for diabetics and other related queries too. If you want to protect yourself from diabetes you can avail diabetes health insurance.

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  1. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/the-importance-of-exercise-when-you-have-diabetes
  2. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2784676
  3. https://www.informationaboutdiabetes.com/articles/diet-and-nutrition/the-health-benefits-of-swimming-for-diabetics
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28691156/
  5. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jdr/2016/6979370/
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6079589/

Please note that this article is solely meant for informational purposes and Bajaj Finserv Health Limited (“BFHL”) does not shoulder any responsibility of the views/advice/information expressed/given by the writer/reviewer/originator. This article should not be considered as a substitute for any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always consult with your trusted physician/qualified healthcare professional to evaluate your medical condition. The above article has been reviewed by a qualified doctor and BFHL is not responsible for any damages for any information or services provided by any third party.

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