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Staying Active

Type 2 Diabetes Exercise

Regular physical activity may help your type 2 diabetes. Daily activity may help you achieve your blood glucose goals by using glucose for energy.

Exercising consistently can help you manage your blood glucose and A1C level. Exercise can also help reduce stress. Stress, which can increase your blood sugar, can make it harder to control your blood sugar levels. Remember: Be sure to check with your doctor first before starting any new exercise program.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends 150 minutes or more of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week for adults. These guidelines also recommend doing muscle-strengthening activities that work all your major muscle groups twice a week or more.

Helpful tips for exercising with diabetes:

Check with your doctor to find out what exercise regimen is right for you. A goal of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week sounds like a lot of time, but it's not. It's 2 hours and 30 minutes—about the same amount of time you might spend watching a movie. You can spread this time out during the week, and even break it up into smaller chunks during the day.

If you haven't been very active recently, start with a realistic goal of at least 10 minutes a day spent doing moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Then gradually add a few minutes a day to your routine.

Beyond planned exercise, there are lots of ways you can build more activity into your day to burn calories. Remember that activities you do every day count toward your goal. You may be more active than you think. Remember, walking fast or mowing the lawn counts as activity.

References: 1. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC). What I Need to Know About Physical Activity and Diabetes. Bethesda, MD: National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse; US Dept of Health and Human Services; National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases; 2014. NIH publication 14-5180. 2. Röhling M, Herder C, Roden M, Stemper T, Müssig K. Effects of long-term exercise interventions on glycaemic control in type 1 and type 2 diabetes: a systematic review. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 2016;124(8):487-494. https://www.thieme-connect.com/products/ejournals/html/10.1055/s-0042-106293. Accessed November 9, 2016. 3. National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). 4 Steps to Manage Your Diabetes for Life. National Diabetes Education Program; US Dept of Health and Human Services; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; 2016. NIH publication 16-5492. NDEP-67. 4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). How much physical activity do adults need? http://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/everyone/guidelines/adults.html. Last reviewed June 4, 2015. Last updated June 4, 2015. Accessed November 9, 2016.

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