Physical activity is vital in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. By becoming more active you can improve your general health, quality of life and diabetes management. Participating in regular physical activity helps to:
- Improve insulin sensitivity (makes insulin work better and lowers blood glucose levels)
- Improve blood pressure and lower blood fats, reducing the risk of heart disease
- Achieve and maintain a healthy body weight
- Increase bone strength and reduce the risk of osteoporosis
- Improve quality of life and sense of wellbeing
- Slow down the ageing process.
Lifestyle choices don’t cause type 1 diabetes
We answer some of your frequently
asked questions about physical activity
How much physical activity should I be doing?
The amount of physical activity you should do depends on your current level of health and fitness. Before you start talk to your GP, an Exercise Physiologist or Diabetes Educator to work out the type and amount of exercise appropriate for your current state of health and fitness.
It is generally recommended that you do 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week in addition to your normal daily activities. Select an activity you enjoy as this will help keep you motivated. There are a lot of great options to choose from including walking, cycling, dancing, swimming and light resistance training.
Special considerations for people with diabetes
- Discuss your exercise plans with your doctor. They can give you advice about the best physical activity for you keeping in mind your important health stats.
- Test your blood glucose levels before, during and after exercise particularly when starting a new program. This will help you understand how your body responds to exercise.
- Wear supportive shoes that fit well and check your feet daily.
- Do not exercise if you feel unwell.
- If you take insulin or certain diabetes tablets, always carry some foods or fluids containing carbohydrate with you.