Exercises for Diabetics

Diabetic people are often encouraged to have an active lifestyle which involves exercises and physical activities. Exercises help to regulate blood sugar level in the body as well as to reduce the risk of developing grave complications like heart disease or diabetic foot.

When a person exercises the muscle utilises the blood sugar and helps to lower the excess sugar level. Also, the overall fitness is improved through improved blood circulation and weight control with regular exercises.

What is regular exercise?

Moderate level of daily exercising for 20-25 min is considered safe for Diabetic Population. (ASCM Guidelines)

Ideal exercise programme should include:

• Aerobic Exercises
• Strengthening Exercises
• Flexibility Exercises

Aerobic Activities are incredibly beneficial for controlling Diabetes. It is great for your heart, reduces cholesterol levels, and helps you lose weight by decreasing your harmful belly fat. Moreover, it helps in boosting your confidence level and induces mental peace.

Aerobic exercise include variety of activities like :
• Brisk walk around your neighbourhood
• Light jogging
• Going for a Swim
• Cycling
• Gardening

Strengthening exercises

Low to moderate strengthening exercises is the key to build your muscle strength. Therabands, theratubes, dumbbells, or weight cuffs which are easily available in the market can be used for this purpose. You can start with 0.5 kg weight cuffs and the gradually start lifting 5-7kg of weight according to your body type and strength under a supervision of a medical professional.

Below are few easy home exercises :

1. Bicep Curls : Hold a dumbbell in your hand and now slowly bend your elbow. Return back to the original position by lowering your hand. Repeat this exercise 5 times in a slowly and a controlled fashion.


2. Squats : Stand straight with your feet shoulder- width apart. Slowly bend your knees as if you have to sit on an imaginary chair kept behind. Do not bend forward while doing this to avoid hurting your knee. Repeat this 5 times. Later, you can do this exercise holding onto dumbbells in your hands.


3. Lunges : Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Now place your left leg in front, and lower in towards the ground bending your knee. Do not touch your knee to the ground. Repeat this exercise for right leg. You can perform this exercise for 5 times for each leg.


4. Leg Curls : Stand straight holding a chair. Bend your knee, trying to bring your heel towards your thigh. You can perform 5-7 reps for each leg.


Flexibility exercises

It includes simple exercises to stretch your muscles to avoid aches and pain after long hours of sitting. It will help you to remain active and maintain your muscle strength and prevent tightness.

Let’s learn few simple stretches(Images)

1. Back Stretches : Lie on your back and bend your knees, such that your thighs touch your tummy. Hold this position for 5 counts and relax.


2. Butterfly stretch : Sit straight with your legs crossed such that sole of your feet touch each other. Now while doing this try to push your thighs towards the ground with your arms slowly. Hold this position for 5 counts and relax.


3. Thigh Stretch : To perform this stretch half kneel and slowly lower down to sit on your legs. Now try to bend backward such that you can feel slight stretch on your thigh muscles. Hold this position for 5 counts and relax. Be careful while bending backwards.


4. Hamstring & Leg Stretch : Lie on your back and grab a towel around your foot. Slowly raise your leg holding the towel. You can experience mild stretch on the back of your thigh. Hold this position for 5 counts and relax.


5. Foot stretches : This simple stretch can be done sitting on a chair. Just grab your toes with your hand and stretch for 10 counts. You can also perform this stretch while standing. Just raise your heels and try to stand on your toes. Be careful with your balance.


Initial 10 minutes can be spent on warm up activities like simple stretching of arms, legs, neck etc. After this, aerobic activities can be done for 20 minutes.
Do not forget to end your exercise with a short 10 minutes cool down period wherein you perform simple flexibility stretches again.


Read more blogs