Guide: Ultimate Exercises For Diabetes To Control Your Blood Sugar

Reviewed by: | Author: Manoja Kalakanti

Diabetes is a killer disease, and India is the diabetes capital of the world. The WHO has some scary facts to share; in India, there are as many as 50 million people suffering from this metabolic disorder. But yes, you don’t have to rave and rant in despair as soon as you get diagnosed with diabetes. No use crying over medical reports, is there?

Medical experts feel that sticking to a healthy eating plan and incorporating a solid exercise for diabetes regime can help you stay on track and keep your blood sugar levels in the normal range.


Diabetes, if left untreated, can increase the risk of health complications such as cardiovascular, renal, neural and visual problems which are linked to the duration of the disease.

There are a vast majority of people who are getting affected by type 2 diabetes; a condition characterized by insulin resistance, which means that cells are unable to respond to insulin. There is a second type of diabetes known as the type 1 diabetes. In this type of diabetes, the pancreas fails to make enough insulin.

The only silver lining here is that type 2 diabetes is largely preventable. Several studies on type 2 diabetes reveal that the right amount of lifestyle modifications can reduce the risk of developing diabetes by a neat 58 percent, whereas you can reduce your risk by 31 percent with the anti-diabetes drug metformin.So, pick your choice, which one is it really going to be? Lifestyle modification or a drug-dependent lifestyle?

I have seen a lot of my close friends and associates getting off their diabetes medicine by just putting in 1/2 an hour of exercise most days of the week and eating right. You can do it too! Of course, do it under the able guidance of your good doctor. Here, in this article, we will discuss the kind of exercises you can do to control the spike of insulin in your body. Before that, let’s dwell upon some of the lifestyle changes you can make to control your sugar levels. Here is everything you will find in this article,


  • 7 Handy Tips to keep your Blood Sugars under Check
  • Exercise for Diabetes – The Best Way to Take Care of your Health
  1. Walking To Your Rescue
  2. Yoga For Relaxation And Increasing The Power Of Pancreas
  3. Tai Chi – To Combat Diabetes And Gain Health
  4. Weight Training – Build Those Muscles And Keep Diabetes At Bay
  5. Dancing To Beat Diabetes
  6. Try Interval Training For Quick Fat Loss
  7. Swim Your Way To A Fitter You

7 Handy Tips to keep your Blood Sugars under Check

Yes, it is easy to control your blood sugar levels, just by following these simple tips. If you are willing to stay committed to a healthy eating plan and remain faithful to your fitness regime, you can beat the most chronic diseases of all.

1. Lose the extra body fat: If you are overweight, you are at greater risk for diabetes. Hold your horses, don’t panic just yet! You can cut your risk of diabetes by just losing weight. So for every 2.2 pounds of weight, you drop your risk by 16 percent. Neat, we say!


2. A plant-based diet can reduce your risk by a large margin: Veggies are not only filling, but alsofull of fiber and a host of nutrients that flood your body with a lot of goodness. The same with the fruit, provided you have the right ones. They also satiate your incorrigible sweet tooth. Sweets are a taboo when you are diabetic, but you can curb your sweet tooth with the natural sugars of the fruit. Skip the hydrogenated fats and unhealthy fats and fill your platter with colorful veggies and fruits. They are a boon which can override the bane called diabetes.

3. Drink large amounts of water: This one is my favorite, wonder why? Because it is so easy to follow, I mean how hard can it be for you to pick up a glass of water and chug it away to glory? It also cuts the cravings for carbonated beverages and sweetened drinks. Want to keep your weight in check? Then stop drinking your calories first. Fruit juices arefibre stripped and no better than your average cola as they spike your insulin levels to an all-time high. If you are successful in banning them, you will be one up on diabetes and obesity, or diabesity, as it is being called these days.

4. Move your body: Move more, sit less. Sitting is the new smoking! Haven’t you heard all these sayings? They are not merely sayingsin fact, they are all true. Physical activity reduces the risk of diabetes, and physical inactivity does just the opposite. Exercise makes cells more sensitive to insulin. You do not always need to do something fancy to do the trick, even brisk walking does wonders.

5. Bust the stress: The stress sets off your hormones and increases blood sugar. Several reports claim that regular meditation can help you deal with stress in a better way. Physical activity can also increase endorphins, happy hormones that relieve stress.


6. Sleep right: Skimping on sleep can trigger a host of complicated conditions and obesity, and consequently, diabetes. Switch off your gadgets an hour before you hit the sack, as the blue light in your mobiles and gadgets can hamper with melatonin production, asleep hormone.

7. Get regular check-ups done: Sometimes the signs of diabetes may not be very pronounced. That is why it is important to get your checkups done to catch the disease early.

Exercise for Diabetes – The Best Way to Take Care of your Health

In all the tips mentioned above, what is the first thing that catches your eye? Yes, you have to be physically active to stay on the right side of health. A sedentary lifestyle is one of the key factors that lead to diabetes. So, stay active with the right kind of exercises. But what on earth are the right kinds of exercises? Some people mention brisk walking to be the best form of exercise to beat diabetes, while some others do yoga exercises to reduce diabetes.

So, which one should you do? The following exercises can help you keep a check on the weight and also the blood sugar levels. Let’s start with the easiest exercise to do, you do not need any equipment for it; just your body weight will do, you have guessed it right, it’s walking.

1. Walking to your rescue

The best part of walking is that it is easy for people to do, it does not feel like exercise. All you require is a pair of shoes and somewhere where you can walk. As soon as you get diagnosed with diabetes, the first advice from your doctor is usually to go for a walk everyday. Walking is perhaps the most effective exercise but it is also one of the most underused exercises.


People cannot believe that something as simple as walking can help you drop the pounds and also treat diabetes. By walking we don’t mean taking a leisurely walk in the park rather the pace should be brisk, just short of a run, this will help elevate the heart rate. Research says you have to invest 150 minutes of your busy schedule to exercise. In fact, you should not go without exercise for more than two days. Check out the other benefits of walking

  • It is easy to do and hence is sustainable.
  • Getting a pedometer can help you keep a track of the number of steps you take everyday, and this helps you stay active throughout the day. Try to aim for at least 10,000 steps. Forty minutes of walking may not get you closer to your target of 10,000 steps, so you have to stay active throughout the day, even walking within the confines of your home counts.
  • Take the stairs, walk your way to the supermarket, walk to other nearby area. These can help you stay active, cuts down your diabetes risk and also manages your blood sugar levels if you are already a diabetic.

2. Yoga for relaxation and increasing the power of pancreas

Most people do not regard yoga as an exercise form which can improve your aerobic fitness. But the truth is yoga is a great workout to do right within the confines of your home. Why should you go for yoga exercises to reduce diabetes? The simple reason being yoga is simple to do, and it also helps you relax and bust the stress. Stress has long-term repercussions on your health and is the underlying cause of most of the lifestyle diseases plaguing us today.


Yoga asanas enable stomach contractions and relaxations which activatethe pancreas. The yoga asanas also help the blood move within the pancreas, and enhances the pancreas’ power toincrease the production of insulin. Besides these two reasons, some of the other reasons are the following,

  • Yoga brings down the blood sugar levels in people with Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Yoga works on your stress hormones, known as cortisol.
  • Yoga relaxes the muscle tissues and supplies blood to every nerve and tissue. This enables glucose to be absorbed in the tissues rather than getting absorbedinto the blood.
  • Yoga also helps control your weight, which in turn brings down your blood sugar levels too.

Specific Yoga asanas that work particularly well for diabetes are the following,

  • Pranayama
  • Sun Salutation
  • Vrikshasana
  • Halasana (Plough Pose)
  • Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
  • Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Twist Pose)

3. Tai Chi – to combat diabetes and gain health

Tai chi is excellent for people already suffering from diabetes because it is an amalgamation of both fitness and stress reduction. Tai chi also helps in improving balance and can treat diabetic neuropathy or nerve damage, a common diabetic complication. Working on your balance helps you as you age,and when staying on your feet seemslike a whole lot of trouble.

Tai chi helps you maintain balance and helps you live well even when you are in the twilight years as it reduces your risk of falling. Incorporate tai chi into your daily life to reap the multitude of benefits. Check out the other benefits of this ancient practice.


  • Tai chi helps reduce rigidity ranges
  • It improves flexibility
  • It boosts your cardio fitness
  • It minimizes joint pains
  • It boosts your immunity

4. Weight Training – build those muscles and keep diabetes at bay

Weight training does not make you bulky, rather it helps in fat loss and increases muscle mass. In fact, resistance training is not just good for diabetics but for everyone. Schedule a weight training session at least three times a week. Do the exercises for alternate days, as you need your body to recover in thatrest period.

Try to include at least 5 to 10 different types of weight lifting exercises, these exercises need to target all the major muscle groupsof your body. Try to include at least three-four sets of each exercise with 10-15 repetitions of each. Check out the other benefits of resistance training or weight training.

  • This is the ideal workout for diabetes as it helps build muscle mass and thus helps maintain your blood sugar.
  • It helps get you toned quickly.
  • It accelerates fat loss and controls your sugar levels to a great extent.
  • It stalls bone loss.
  • Researchers have claimed that just incorporating resistance training for three months can bring down the ranges of A1C (thehemoglobin, determining the blood sugar concentrations.)

5. Dancing to destress and beat diabetes

People think that exercises are double the trouble and no fun. Well, it isn’t true, dancing your heart out can not only help you shed the excess flab, but also be fun as well. Who knew grooving to your favorite music could actually help combat diabetes?Besides, the fun part here are some cool reasons why you should make dancing a part of your life.In fact, it is one of the most potent forms of exercises for people with diabetes.


Check Out Some More Health Benefits of Dancing

Dancing can take care of your heart. Yes, your heart will certainly thank you for that bit of grooving and jiving sweat fest.

  • Dancing= less stress= happy hormones= improved insulin activity. It is amazing how a little bit of dancing session can improve your insulin activity to a large extent. You are less stressed; so obviously, your health benefits tremendously from it, read your insulin levels stay well in control.
  • An intense dance workout can burn an insane number of calories. Burn the gym floor with your intense moves and you will notice a slimmer and a more toned you in a week or two. Remember the key to success is definitely consistency.
  • Dancing every day not only keeps diabetes at bay but also refreshes your memory!
  • Dancing can even thwart the obesity scare and the diabetes epidemic. Just keep a track on what you put on your plate and put on some music to dance those blues away. Ahappyyou so often means a healthier you!

6. Try Interval training for quick fat loss

HIIT is the newest kid on the block to take the fitness world by storm. It is said to incinerate fat and helps drop the extra kilos like crazy! You know by now that weight loss helps maintain the fluctuating blood sugar levels. HIIT is the brand new exercise form to manage your condition.


Whatis HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training? It is a form of training in bursts, and is cloaked with other fancy names such as Tabata, Circuit training et al. This is including a few bodyweight moves at a short burst and then taking rest for a minute to recover. HIIT is all about going all out and not looking pretty while doing it. Yes, by the end of a thirty minutes session, getting up from the floor will prove to be a mammoth task.

You can also try it when walking on the treadmill or outside.Just try to walk extra fast for 45 seconds or 60 seconds, then slow down for active recovery; keep going like this for the next thirty or forty minutes. Now for the benefits, are you HIIT your thing? Well, find out below,

  • It makes a world of difference to your stamina. HIIT will make you stronger and help you perform your everyday tasks with greater zeal.
  • Since your body is constantly working hard, it will help in optimise blood flow and this will help normalize your blood glucose levels too.
  • It keeps your heart working. As your blood continues to pump, your metabolism will shoot up to the highest level and you will feel the afterburn, which will continue even after your workout is complete.

7. Swim your way to a fitter you

Are you looking for an exercise that is easy on your joints and helps you work on your muscles and fitness without injury? Try swimming then, the water helps improve your buoyancy and capabilities. Check out other reasons why you should swim your way to fitness and beating diabetes.


  • Swimming especially works as it has the ability to take the pressure off your joints and is highly recommended for people suffering from type II diabetes.
  • Diabetes restricts blood flow, the very reason you lose balance and feel tingling sensations in your feet. The water rules out such balancing problems. It almost makes you feel weightless.
  • You can do a lot of things in the pool, and not restricted only to swimming only. Since the water takes off the weight, you are able to improve your fitness, drastically.
  • Bored of swimming? Then, look out for aquaerobics classes, which helps you up your fitness levels while having loads of fun!
  • There is something very calm and comforting about water, and it helps you in your fitness endeavors. It is certainly one of the simplest exercises for diabetes patients, but the good thing is that it works every time.

You can control diabetes just by following the right lifestyle. Exercise should be an integral part of your life. Take small but significant steps every day to improve your overall being. Bolster not only your physical health but also your mental health with the above-mentioned simple exercises for diabetes patientsor even to prevent the disease.

Just remember one thing, don’t be too harsh on yourself, listen to your body and rest it out if you feel tired, sluggish or nauseous. As I said, let your body be the judge and let it tell you how much you can do within a stipulated time.It is time to give health a chance and gain control of your life. Don’t let diabetes stand in the way of living your life to the hilt. Take care!

Exercises and Diabetes – Keep Sugar Levels in Control – PDF

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