Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in the modern world but if treated early can reduce the risks of progression to diabetic neuropathy or autonomic neuropathy. People with pre-diabetes, have impaired fasting glucose and also impaired glucose tolerance, thus are prone to diabetes and can fall victim to cardiovascular disease. Regardless of the type of diabetes the person has, it is important to do exercise. Physiotherapy is one suitable option that focuses on encouraging preventative care and helps to manage the symptoms of diabetes. This blog describes the benefits of exercises for diabetic patients and a few of them are mentioned below.



Diabetes is of 2 Types, Type1 diabetes (insulin-dependent), caused by cell destruction in the pancreas, has deficient insulin secretion, and is often associated with pancreatic antibodies. They are typically exogenous insulin-dependent and at greater risk of ketosis, coma, and death. Type 2 diabetes (noninsulin-dependent), related to genetic and lifestyle, is insulin resistant and has insulin deficiency.


Benefits of Exercising:


Physiotherapy is an important part of diabetes management. Physiotherapist recommends exercises that cause muscles to use sugar for energy. With the help of regular exercises, the body uses insulin more efficiently. Lack of activity and being obese are the most significant environmental factors related to Type 2 diabetes. Increased activity and increasing exercise levels promote weight loss. It increases the body's sensitivity to insulin and enhances the utilization of glucose. It helps to lower blood sugar levels and maintain overall diabetic control. Exercising regularly and losing weight are beneficial in glycemic control in Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and also help prevent the development of diabetes in people who have prediabetes.


Exercises for Diabetic Patients:


The physiotherapist designs a structured exercise program according to the patient's needs. Structured Exercise programs consist of resistance training and aerobic exercises. Top of Form

The 3 main types of exercise for diabetic patients are aerobic, strength, and flexibility exercises. A diabetic person should start with aerobic exercises, then slowly progress to strengthening exercises and then progress to flexibility exercises, with two sessions of strength training per week.


Walking:  Brisk walk of 30 minutes, 5 days a week is recommended. It is a simple and safe exercise and just requires a good pair of shoes and a safe place to walk.


Cycling:  Cycling is a low-impact exercise for lower joint pain, a good exercise for diabetes.


Swimming: Aquatic exercise like swimming helps reduce the blood sugar level, also is a low-impact exercise for diabetes and it helps to relax the whole body and is a good workout for the heart, lungs, and muscles.


Aerobic exercises: Aerobic exercises like aerobic dance can also be done as a workout.


Weight training: Weight lifting and other strengthening activities help to build up muscle mass, and burn down calories. Strength training can also improve blood sugar control, thus suitable exercise for diabetes.

Resistance band exercise: Resistance band exercises can also be done by diabetic patients. With the help of simple weights or resistance bands, strengthening exercises can be done.


Calisthenics: Calisthenics is a type of strengthening exercise, where the patient's own body weight is used to increase strength e.g squats, pushups, pull-ups lunges, and abdominal crunches.


Pilates: Pilates is a fitness program, recommended to improve core strength, coordination, and balance.


HIIT: High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a suitable exercise for diabetic patients.  By performing High-intensity interval training, leads to rapid improvement in glucose levels in diabetic patients.

Other exercises are like playing tennis, basketball, running, jogging, and these exercises engage all the muscles of the body and also help maintain blood sugar levels.

Note: Check your blood sugar level before and also after the exercises, keep a snack handy in case your blood sugar drops down, drink plenty of water before, during, and after the exercises and wear proper shoes and socks.