Skip to content

Diabetes Health Center

Taking Care of Your Diabetes Every Day

Font Size
A
A
A

Get Regular Exercise

Exercise is good for those with diabetes. Walking, swimming, dancing, riding a bicycle, playing baseball, and bowling are all good ways to exercise. You can even get exercise when you clean house or work in your garden. Exercise is especially good for people with diabetes because:

1. Exercise helps keep weight down.

2. Exercise helps insulin work better to lower blood sugar.

3. Exercise is good for your heart and lungs.

4. Exercise gives you more energy.

Before you begin exercising, talk with your doctor. Your doctor may check your heart and your feet to be sure you have no special problems. If you have high blood pressure or eye problems, some exercises like weight-lifting may not be safe. Your doctor or nurse will help you find safe exercises.

Try to exercise regularly. Exercise at least three times a week for about 30 to 45 minutes each time. If you have not exercised in a while, begin slowly. Start with five to 10 minutes, and then work up to more time.

If you haven't eaten for over an hour or if your blood sugar is less than 100-120, eat or drink something like an apple or a glass of milk before you exercise.

When you exercise, carry a snack with you in case of low blood sugar. Wear or carry an identification tag or card saying that you have diabetes.

Regular exercise such as walking and bicycling can help keep your blood sugar in a good range.

Action Steps...

If You Use Insulin

  • Exercise after eating, not before.
  • Test your blood sugar before, during, and after exercising. Don't exercise when your blood sugar is over 240.
  • Avoid exercise right before you go to sleep, because it could cause low blood sugar during the night.

If You Don't Use Insulin

  • See your doctor before starting an exercise program.
  • Test your blood sugar before and after exercising if you take diabetes pills.

Take Your Diabetes Medicine Every Day

Insulin and diabetes pills and injections (Byetta, Symlin, or Victoza) are the kinds of medicines used to lower blood sugar.

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

Check Your Blood Sugar Level Now
What type of diabetes do you have?
Your gender:

Get the latest Diabetes newsletter delivered to your inbox!


or
Answer:
Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
High
131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Did You Know Your Lifestyle Choices
Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Use the Blood Glucose Tracker to monitor
how well you manage your blood sugar over time.

Get Started

This tool is not intended for women who are pregnant.

Start Over

Step:  of 

Today on WebMD

Diabetic tools
Symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and more.
woman flexing muscles
10 strength training exercises.
 
Blood sugar test
12 practical tips.
Tom Hanks
Stars living with type 1 or type 2.
 
Woman serving fast food from window
Video
Can Vinegar Treat Diabetes
Video
 
Middle aged person
Tool
are battery operated toothbrushes really better
Video
 

Prediabetes How to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Article
type 2 diabetes
Slideshow
 
food fitness planner
Tool
Are You at Risk for Dupuytrens Contracture
Article