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Physical activity and diabetes: Information for Aboriginal people

Being physically active has many health benefits. If you have diabetes and are thinking about getting active, find out how you can get started today.

What are the benefits of physical activity for people with diabetes?

Being physically active can help you:

  • Manage your blood glucose levels and lower the risk of diabetes-related complications.
  • Live healthier for longer. People with type 2 diabetes tend to live longer when they are regularly active.
  • Manage your weight. Being active can help with managing and maintaining your weight.
  • Feel great. Being active can energize you, help you sleep better and improve your mood.

Who should I talk to before getting started? 

If you are new to physical activity, speak to your health care provider before getting started. Your diabetes team can give you advice and tips to help you monitor your blood glucose and any other health conditions. 

How much physical activity should I aim for? 

Try to be active for at least 150 minutes per week. That’s about 30 minutes a day on five days of the week. You can start with just 10 minute at a time. Choose activities that you enjoy and try things you can do with your family. Here are some fun activities that you can do by yourself, with your friends and family, and with your community:

Outdoor activities:

  • Berry picking/food gathering
  • Biking
  • Canoeing
  • Cutting grass with a push mower
  • Gardening
  • Hunting/trapping
  • Jogging/running
  • Shovelling snow
  • Snowshoeing
  • Sports like lacrosse, basketball, soccer and hockey
  • Swimming
  • Tai chi 
  • Walking

Indoor activities

  • Traditional dancing
  • Karate
  • Yoga
  • House cleaning

Read more about how to manage your blood glucose levels before and during physical activity.  

Bottom line 

Being active is very important for people with diabetes. It can help you manage your blood glucose levels, your weight and can help you feel your best. Check with your health care professional before starting a new physical activity program to make sure it is right for you. And, choose activities you love so that being active is fun! Call EatRight Ontario to speak with a Registered Dietitian at 1-877-510-510-2 to get answers to your physical activity questions.

You may also be interested in 

Diabetes in the Aboriginal Community
Physical Activity and Type 2 Diabetes
Canada’s Physical Activity Guide

Last Update – October 27, 2016

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If you have questions about what you've read here, or other questions about food, nutrition or healthy eating, click to email our Registered Dietitians or call 1-877-510-5102.