Exercise is a vital part of health for people with type 2 diabetes and provides many potential health benefits.

Exercising helps to increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, decreasing blood sugar levels while also creating a myriad of health benefits, like improved heart health, decreased risk of strokes, improved circulation, and much more.

People with type 2 diabetes who exercise regularly and control their weight may even be able to stop using their medications.

Ultimately, the best exercise for diabetes is the one that you actually do consistently. An exercise that works quickly, but that you dislike, is less likely to actually be something that you stick with. 

Choosing the exercise that works best for you will give you the greatest long-term chance at successfully using regular exercise to achieve your health goals.


While for many people the idea of exercise conjures images of lifting weights or running five miles, regular exercise doesn’t have to be something intense.

Something as simple as going for a half-hour walk most days can be very beneficial to your health and improve your diabetes symptoms.

A brisk walk may be more beneficial than a slow stroll, but ultimately any kind of walking is better than nothing.

Walking can either be done outdoors or on a treadmill and is an especially ideal exercise for those who may be getting back into exercising, particularly after not being in the habit of working out for a while.

Plus, walking is not intense and allows you to slowly build up your fitness without having to do strenuous or demanding exercise. Even if you are only able to walk short distances, you will find that regular walks gradually increase your endurance.


For those who want something that pushes them harder than walking, running offers a way to get fit faster.

Running will increase your heart rate and have more effect on your diabetes and overall health than walking for the same time will.

While many people enjoy running outdoors, running on a treadmill can be more practical for others.

Running can focus on speed, endurance, or a mix of both.

An important consideration when you start running is not to compare yourself to others. Some people may see running as a competitive form of working out, but there will always be someone faster and fitter than you. 

If you want to take a competitive approach to running, the best practice is to compete against yourself, constantly striving for small improvements in your performance.


Cycling offers an alternative to running that some people prefer.

Because it's a low-impact exercise, cycling reduces strains that your joints experience while running. For people who have joint pain or other injuries, cycling can offer an alternative to running.

Other people prefer cycling because it allows them to cover more ground with the same amount of effort.

Whatever the reason for cycling, this form of exercise offers another way to improve your health. There is no “right” way to cycle, and you can choose to take it slow and scenic or to aim for an intense workout.

Cycling can also be on-road, off-road, and even done using an elliptical when the weather isn’t good.


Yoga has grown in popularity in the last several years due to the fact that it not only offers a method of exercise, but also helps people to be more mindful and relaxed.

Often seen as a method of physical and emotional exercise, yoga helps people to become more centered while also providing physical benefits.

There are many different ways to do yoga. From learning some exercises and practicing them by yourself, to following a YouTube-guided yoga session, to actually attending a yoga studio, there are many options that will fit people’s lifestyles.

Yoga can help to improve your overall physical health, but is also an ideal exercise method for those who struggle with emotional stressors, like anxiety, stress, or even depression.


Swimming is a low-impact exercise that can be beneficial for those who have joint pains or injuries. Swimming may also just be a more therapeutic form of exercise that someone prefers.

Regardless of the reason, swimming offers a relaxing way to increase your activity levels and improve your health.

If you have not been swimming before, it may be best to take some initial swimming lessons.

This can provide you with not only a good way to exercise, but also the opportunity to learn a new skill. Like other forms of exercise, swimming can be as intense or as relaxed as you  want it to be.

Gym routine

While specific types of exercises work best for some people, others may do better with the mix of exercises available at a gym. A gym also may help someone be more disciplined, as a gym subscription is wasted if it isn’t used.

There are many different gym options that offer a variety of different experiences.

One of the most important considerations is proximity; it will be harder to make it to the gym if it is out or your way. It is also important to find a gym that fits your style and needs.

How to Choose the Right Exercise for You

Keep in mind that you may need to be flexible and experiment with many types of exercises to find the one that is right for you. Any exercise will better for your diabetes than no exercise.

If you find that one exercise type isn’t working for you or that you struggle to find motivation, try another type of exercise until you find the one that works best for you!

Should you need help in managing your diabetes, the Noorani Medical Center is here for you. 

Please contact us to learn more about how we can help you control your diabetes and achieve your healthiest life.