Chapter 4: Adding Activity to Your Life
Being physically active every day can help you manage your blood glucose, blood
pressure, and cholesterol. That’s because an active lifestyle can improve your body’s
ability to use insulin. Daily activity can help reduce the risk of complications of
diabetes. And it’s a great way to relieve stress. If you aren’t normally active, be sure to
consult your health care provider before getting started.
How Much Activity Do You Need?
If daily activity is new to you, start slow and steady. Try to do a total of at least 150
minutes per week of aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, spread over 3 or more days
a week. If you are just starting out, start with 5 minutes a day and gradually add more
time. Do this by adding a few minutes each week. It doesn’t have to be done all at once.
Each active period throughout the day adds up.
Prolonged periods of sitting are not good for anyone, especially people with type 2
diabetes. Get up and walk around at least every half-hour if you sit for lengthy periods
of time, such as at work or at home.
If You Want to
Lose Some Weight
If you are overweight, work up to
60 minutes of daily activity. Weight
loss can help improve your ability
to keep your blood glucose in your
target range. Even a modest loss
of 5 to 10 pounds can help you
meet your blood glucose goals.
Other potential benefits of weight
loss include increased energy and
improved mood. Talk with your
health care team before starting
any exercise program and about
setting a weight-loss goal that is
right for you.