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Diabetes Guidelines

Source: American Council on Exercise

Exercise Benefits

  1. Reduced heart disease.
  2. Better glucose regulation.
  3. Weight loss and control.
  4. May help reduce the amount of oral insulin medication needed.

Exercise Guidelines

  1. Do not inject insulin into the muscle groups that will be used during the exercise session because the insulin will be absorbed too quickly, and may result in hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.
  2. Check your blood glucose levels frequently.
  3. Work with your doctor to determine the right insulin dosage. This dosage might change because you are exercising.
  4. Always carry a quick and rapid source of carbohydrate (juice or candy) in case you develop hypoglycemia.
  5. Avoid exercising during periods of peak insulin activity.
  6. Exercise one to two hours after a meal and before peak insulin activity.
  7. Consume a carbohydrate snack before and during prolonged exercise.
  8. Pay close attention to your feet for signs of blisters and cuts. Wear well-fitting, good quality exercise shoes.
  9. Check your blood glucose levels before and after exercise. You shouldn't exercise if your blood glucose level is below 70 mg/dl or greater than 150 mg/dl.
  10. Be aware of exercising in extreme weather conditions. Hot weather can speed up insulin absorption, while cold weather can slow down insulin absorption.


Type of Exercise
Aerobic exercise like walking, swimming or cycling.

Exercise Intensity
Low to moderate intensity.

Exercise Frequency
For insulin dependent diabetics: five to seven days a week.
For non-insulin dependent diabetics: four to five days a week.

Exercise Duration
For insulin dependent diabetics: 20 to 30 minutes per session.
For non-insulin dependent diabetics: 40 to 60 minutes per session.

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