Fitting Exercise into Your Daily Life

Living Well with Diabetes

Living a full, healthy life with type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes  means fitting some exercise into your routine. But how do you make exercise part of your daily life? We show you how below.

Even if you think you're too tired to exercise, too busy, or that exercise is too boring, think again. Exercise can actually boost your mood, increase your energy, help you manage your blood glucose levels, and most importantly, it can be a blast.


The main goal for exercising with diabetes is to get active and stay active every day. Check out our article on getting started and staying motivated to exercise.

Experts say adults with diabetes should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week, and children and teens should exercise at least 60 minutes most days. Any activity that increases your heart rate and causes you to break a light sweat counts.1

There are 3 main types of exercise:

You should try to incorporate each of these types of exercise into a well-rounded exercise program. An easy way to do this is to set aside some time each day to exercise. This can help you stay committed to your exercise program.

If you simply can't find the time to exercise, below are some suggestions to help people with diabetes incorporate more exercise into everyday life.

  • Clean your house. Cleaning can really break a sweat—you have to bend, reach, and put some muscle into making your home sparkle. Yard work, raking leaves, shoveling, and gardening also count.
  • Make exercise a social event. Instead of catching up with family and friends over dinner, you can talk while you walk.
  • Move during commercial breaks. If you watch a lot of TV, a good way to move a little more is to get off the couch during the commercials. You can do jumping jacks, sit-ups, and push-ups at each break.
  • Park your car farther away. Those extra steps you take to get to the mall or to your office can really add up.
  • Stand up when you're on the phone. Standing burns more calories than sitting, so walk around while you chat.
  • Take the stairs. Something as simple as choosing to take the stairs instead of the elevator is an excellent way to stay active.
  • Walk to do errands. If you live within a mile or two of the grocery store or pharmacy, try walking instead of driving.

Have a discussion with your doctor about adding exercise to your daily routine. Your doctor can offer suggestions and create an exercise program that fits your needs.

Don't be afraid to make a change—especially a healthy one. Making exercise a priority in your daily life when you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes is a positive change with numerous benefits.

Updated on: October 28, 2015