Diabetes and Exercise


Exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. You should always consult your doctor before engaging in strenuous exercise to be sure you are physically able though.

Diabetes management is unique to the individual and depends on many variables including the sport, athlete’s health needs, length and duration of training, upcoming competitions, etc. The primary risks of physical activity for  athletes with diabetes are essentially two:

  • Hypoglycemia (blood sugar is too low)

To prepare for hypoglycemia, keep at least 15-20g of fast-acting carbohydrates on hand at all times. Also, note that the risk for hypoglycemia is higher if you skip a meal or exercise strenuously or for a long duration. Aerobic exercise, such as jogging, tends to drive blood glucose down.

  • Hyperglycemia (blood sugar is too high)

Certain high-intensity or anaerobic exercises, such as weight lifting, can increase blood glucose. The bottom line is that you need to listen to your body, check your blood glucose often and look for patterns to help you adjust routines.

Find out the reasons for hyperglycemia and how you can have better blood sugar control while working out. Discover the benefits of anaerobic exercise (or weight lifting).

Exercise, in general, may increase insulin sensitivity and aid in overall better diabetes management. Beyond Type 2 aims to provide exercise resources to help you become active and keep you motivated.



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Do you have a personal story you’d like to share? Follow this link to submit your story on how type 2 diabetes has impacted your life. Your story contributes to our growing community of people living with type 2 diabetes and brings a new perspective to our fight in redefining what it means to live with it.