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Guide to Diabetes

Keeping Active/ Exercise

If you have Type 2 diabetes and are overweight the benefits of exercise can improve your diabetes, help you lose weight, reduce the amount of tablets/insulin you take and help you feel more confident and good about yourself. Increasing your level of activity will help you lose weight and help you gain better diabetic control improve your circulation and may reduce the risk of heart disease; remember that small changes can make a real difference.

If you have Type 1 diabetes or are on insulin treatment read on as there are some things you should be aware when doing activities and exercising. Scroll down the page to read more.


Be More Active

30 Minutes activity, 5 times a day is beneficial but any activity is better than none.

Simple changes such as, taking the stairs instead of the lift or walking to the next bus stop will help you use your muscles and burn calories.
Household chores such as cleaning windows or the car, scrubbing cupboards and gardening are also a good way to increase your activity levels.

Try doing the extra activity so your heart rate is moderately increased, as this is when it is beneficial such as walking, swimming, and cycling.
e.g. rather than taking a 20 minutes stroll, try cover the same distance in 15 minutes.

The Benefits

Research has shown that moderate activity that is, an activity that raises your heartbeat and makes you feel warm and slightly out of breath for 30 minutes 5 times a week can produce the following benefits:

  • Help with losing weight and control
  • Improve your circulation hence prevent diabetic complications
  • Lower the levels of harmful fats in the blood, cholesterol
  • Enable you to cope better with the stresses of everyday life.


See our 'Walking Away Study" information. The team are using pedometers to help keep track of their patient activities. If you would like to start walking and would like a pedometer from our recommended supplier Digi-walker then click on the link


How Can I Fit Activity /Exercise Into My Lifestyle?


Think of things you already do that make you out of breath. This could be walking around the park, going upstairs, hoovering or gardening. All of these things can be used as part of your daily activity. If you catch the bus, get off a stop earlier; if you go up in a lift, stop the floor below and take the stairs the rest of the way. If you drive to work, park the car further away and walk.

Regular physical activity is difficult, especially as today we live in a world of labour saving devices such as escalators, remote controls and cars. Try hiding the remote for the television to boost activity levels. Just remember if you can’t manage 30 minutes of activity a day - any activity is better than none at all.

Why not take a positive step to improve your health!?
Join the “Active Lifestyle Exercise Referral Scheme” -What’s stopping you?



Are You Less Mobile?


If you are less mobile, even a small amount of walking, or armchair exercises are beneficial. You could try leg raises whilst sitting in your chair or try holding a bottle of water in each hand and raising your arms. Start off slowly and gradually increase to a level of comfort. These exercises will help to keep your arm and leg muscles mobile.

Sexual Activity


Whether you think of it as not, sexual activity is in fact a form of exercise and can cause a hypoglycaemic reaction. For most people it is a good form of exercise, therefore you need to be prepared for a drop in your blood glucose. You should make sure that you have supplies of sugar to hand such as glucose tablets or a sugary drink. Having diabetes can affect your sex life whether you are male or female. If you have diabetic complication with circulation you could have problems with maintaining an erection. If you are having problems don’t keep them to yourself as there are people to help you and many treatments available.

To find out more about how diabetes can affect your sexual health male or female and to help answer those questions about fertility and pregnancy please go to our Sexual Health sections.

Useful Websites- Activities across Leicestershire