Physical Activity and Diabetes
Physical activity has a range of benefits for individuals living with diabetes. As reported by Diabetes UK, being physically active can:
- help the body use insulin better by increasing insulin sensitivity
- help you look after your blood pressure, because high blood pressure means you're more at risk of diabetes complications
- help to improve cholesterol (blood fats) to help protect against problems like heart disease
- help you lose weight if you need to, and keep the weight off after you've lost it
- give you energy and help you sleep
- help your joints and flexibility
- help your mind as well as your body - exercise releases endorphins, which you could think of as happy hormones. Being active is proven to reduce stress levels and improve low mood.
- help people with type 2 diabetes improve their HbA1c. In some cases, this can help people with the condition go into remission.
If you're unsure about being physically active and managing your diabetes, this video from Diabetes UK may provide some useful information to answer any questions you may have. Senior Physical Activity Advisor, Neil Gibson, and Senior Clinical Advisor, Emma Elvin, talk about moving more when you have diabetes. As well as answering questions from viewers, they cover topics ranging from checking your blood sugar levels when exercising, to what you should eat and what support is available to get active.
Through their website, Diabetes UK also offer a range of services to support individuals living with Diabetes to be physically active.
- Free Get Moving Online Classes- starting in January 2022, Physical Activity Coordinators will be running free 10 week courses specifically tailored to support people who want to start moving more. From boxercise to Tai chi to movement to music, each weekly class will focus on a different gentle activity - giving you the chance to try out new ways to get active and find what suits you.
- Physical Activity Helpline –Whether you're struggling to get moving, looking for one-to-one guidance or are interested in finding out more about the support on offer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0345 123 2399 to arrange a chat with Francesca, Physical Activity Helpline Advisor.
- Free Exercise Resources -A range of resources, videos, illustrations and real life stories to provide information and support to get active. Take a look at some of the resources on offer below.