See Your Doctor

It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been active in the past or not—you can still start now. But, if you have never been active or have not been active for a while, it is important to start slowly. For example, start with 5-10 minutes of walking each day and add a few minutes every week.

Light activities like walking are fine for most people with diabetes. If you haven’t been active and feel unsure about your health, talk to your health care provider before doing anything more demanding.

During your visit: 

  • Tell your provider if you have any pain in your chest.
  • Talk with your provider about joint or bone problems that make it difficult for you to exercise.
  • Ask about how increasing your activity level might impact any medicines you take for diabetes, blood pressure, and/or heart conditions.
  • Ask what exercises are safe for you and what you need to avoid.
  • Ask if there are times when you should avoid activity.

Your health care provider should help support you in your efforts to become more active.

If you have other health conditions besides diabetes such as heart disease, issues with your vision/eyes (retinopathy), or nerve problems (neuropathy), you may have some limitations when it comes to physical activity. Your doctor can tell you what exercises are best for you and what activities to avoid.

If you want to know more about exercising safely with specific diabetes complications, check out the Exercising with Complications List.