Staying Active

Being More Active Is Better for You

For patients with prediabetes, getting regular physical activity can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Regular physical activity means getting at least 150 minutes a week of brisk walking or a similar activity. That’s just 30 minutes a day, five days a week. (reference:

If you have diabetes, being active makes your body more sensitive to insulin (the hormone that allows cells in your body to use blood sugar for energy), which helps manage your diabetes. Physical activity also helps control blood sugar levels and lowers your risk of heart disease and nerve damage. Some additional benefits include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Losing weight, if needed
  • Feeling happier
  • Sleeping better
  • Improving your memory
  • Controlling your blood pressure Lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol
Ways to Get Started

Find something you like. Exercising by doing something you enjoy is important because if you don’t like it, you won’t stick with it. Find an activity that you and your health care provider agree you can do regularly for the best results.

Start small. If you’re not already physically active you should begin slowly and work your way up to the desired level. For example, you could park farther from the door, take the stairs, do yard work, or walk the dog. Start small and gradually add a little more time and intensity each week.

Find a partner. It’s more fun when someone else is counting on you to show up. Having a partner may help you continue to be active.

Pick a goal. An example of a goal could be to walk a mile every day for a month or to be active every weekday for 30 minutes. Be specific and realistic. Always discuss your activity goals with your health care provider.

Schedule it in. The more regular activity you do, the quicker it will become a habit. Think of ways to link activity to daily life. For example, you could schedule walking with a co-worker after lunch. Try not to go more than 2 days in a row without being active

Before starting any physical activity, check with your health care provider to talk about the best physical activities for you. Be sure to discuss which activities you like, how to prepare, and what you should avoid.

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Materials developed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Disclaimer: Reference to specific commercial products, manufacturers, companies, or trademarks does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation by the U.S. Government, Department of Health and Human Services, or Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.