Best Exercises For Type 2 Diabetes Patients at Home

Medically Reviewed By: Dr. Arjun Subash Kalasapur, MBBS, MD (Medicine) October 23, 2023

Last updated on November 2nd, 2023

Physical inactivity is the major contributing factor in the proliferation of several diseases.

As per the American Diabetes Association, your blood sugar level tends to drop and stay unchanged for about 24 hours after you work out. Working out helps your body become immediately sensitive to insulin.

Therefore, if you want to stay fit and healthier, take out the time from your busy schedule and exercise. Regular exercise is the secret to keeping away several illnesses from you. Exercise becomes more important especially, for people with diabetes.

It is the crucial step to manage your blood sugar in addition to your body weight, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.

Read this blog to know about the best exercise for type 2 diabetes.

Tips to Start With the Exercise For Type 2 Diabetes


Starting with the correct exercise or workout programs that suit your body, you will get its optimum benefits for your health and body. Consult with a good fitness trainer to get the best workout for diabetics type 2 and start with a low-intensity workout. Along with these, you should keep your body moving. Dance, play outdoor games, do household chores, or take your dog out to stay physically active. These are the best exercises for type 2 diabetes patients at home.

It is daunting for people to start regular exercise when they are not used to it. Here are some tips for them to start exercising regularly:

  • Look for the best workout program: Plenty of workout for diabetics type 2 are available online. However, not all workout plans are for everyone. It is better to talk to your primary care physician to start a workout program. It enables the patients to choose the best workout program that best suits to their existing health conditions.
  • Take baby steps: Instead of starting with a high-intensity type 2 diabetes exercise, begin with a low-intensity exercise. This gradual approach will reduce the risk of after-workout pain and injury. Your physician will also recommend the newbies start with the low-impact workout, especially if you are suffering from nerve damage or diabetic neuropathy.
  • Carefully plan your exercise routine: Physical activity and type 2 diabetes need to be carefully administered. A well-planned exercise routine can give you the maximum benefit when combining with a healthy diet plan. Planning an exercise routine with the intake of food prevents hyperglycemia or hypoglycemia. You may need to monitor your blood glucose levels before, after, and during your workout routine.
  • Improve your physical activity: Physical activity and type 2 diabetes are directly related, so you need to start with a dedicated workout routine. Although, it is better if you improve your everyday physical activity. You can maintain your physical mobility and functional strength while doing some household work or through physical recreation. You can walk while doing errands, cleaning the house, taking the trash out, gardening, take your dog out for a walk, and more.
  • Target on large muscle group: Focus on type 2 diabetes workout that target the large muscle group. Multi-joint exercises like squats and chest presses benefits blood sugar management. However, you should perform type 2 diabetes workout under supervision to avoid mistakes and injuries. Listen to your body when you start with any exercise. It will help you to get the maximum health benefits without workout injuries.

exercise for type 2 diabetes

Read More: Good Exercises in pandemic for diabetes

Top 11 Exercises For Type 2 Diabetes Patients


Physical inactivity is responsible for different health issues like diabetes. Diabetes is a lifestyle disorder that can lead to many complications and keep you unfit for life. To live a healthy life, improve your type 2 diabetes workout. Exercise is the best way to stay physically active and manage your diabetes. Take help from your doctor to start with the most suitable workout program to meet your health goals.

People with diabetes type-2 should make a habit of exercising regularly. Physical activity type 2 diabetes helps them to manage their diabetes more effectively. Along with this, it keeps them fit in each day. The top ten exercises that are highly beneficial for people with diabetes type 2 are:

1. Brisk Walking

Walking is the simplest form of exercise. You don’t need to have expensive workout equipment or a gym membership to get moving. You can start walking today.

As per studies spending at least 30 minutes for brisk walking five days a week is proven to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. It is a great way to improve your physical activity type 2 diabetes. When you go for a walk after meals, your body takes up extra glucose from your body and utilises it for energy. Brisk walking is also considered one of the best pre workout for type 2 diabetes.
exercise for diabetes

2. Yoga

It is a traditional form of exercise and often considered the best workout for diabetes type 2. According to America Diabetes Association, mind-body practices like yoga can help you achieve your blood sugar goals.

It aims at improving physical, mental, and spiritual health. Yoga promotes fluid movements in the body that improve flexibility, balance, and strength. There are yoga poses that help in lowering blood sugar levels and promote heart health.

Hence, this diabetes 2 exercise helps reduces the chances of diabetes-related heart problems and other complications. You can watch diabetic exercise videos to learn the best yoga poses for diabetes.  type 2 diabetes physical exercise

3. Swimming

Swimming is another best exercise for diabetes patients. It is a low-moderate impact exercise that involves most of your body muscles. Swimming smoothly relaxes your muscles without putting pressure on your joints. People with diabetes should go swimming. This diabetes 2 exercise helps them burn calories, lower stress levels, improve cholesterol, lower blood sugar levels, and reduce the risk of diabetes. Exercise for diabetes

4. Cycling

Exercise is good for diabetes mellitus, especially cycling. Cycling is a form of low-impact aerobic exercise. which is one of the best workout for type 2 diabetes. It is suitable for people with diabetes or pre-diabetes.

It helps in burning calories, improving heart health, and make your lungs function better. You can go cycling outside and enjoy yourself. There are stationary bikes as well that help you to pedal at the comfort of your home.

There’s no need to be a hard-core cyclist to lower sugar levels. Casual cycling for about 30 minutes per day is enough to positively impact your type 2 diabetes.

exercise for sugar patient

5. Dancing

Another good exercise for diabetes type 2 is dancing. If you are looking for the best diabetes exercise at home, then dance is the best. It keeps your body moving and makes your mind at work. Dancing releases you from mental stress, promotes flexibility, and regulates blood sugar levels in your body. If you are not a good dancer, you can learn dance online or dance in your way. There are various dance forms like salsa, classical, jazz, hip-hop, etc. So, you can follow any form and dance for few minutes daily.exercise for diabetes

6. Strength training exercise

One of the best exercise for diabetes control is strength training. This form of exercise is also known as resistance training. Muscles play a vital role in the regulation of blood sugar levels. It helps in the storage and utilization of blood glucose in the body. Strength training also makes your body insulin-sensitive and lowers blood glucose levels. Hence, many physicians or fitness experts recommend strength training in the workout plan for people with diabetes. type 2 diabetes physical exercise

7. Tai Chi

One of the most underrated but a great addition to your type 2 diabetes workout plan is Tai Chi. It is an ancient Chinese art form that involves slow and controlled movements along with controlled breathing and visualization. It helps in strength building, improving flexibility, mobility, and balance. Tai Chi is a low-impact gentle exercise that reduces stress levels and controls blood glucose levels. It also prevents nerve damage in your feet which is a common side effect of some medications for diabetes. exercise for diabetes at home

8. Weightlifting

Weightlifting is an integral part of diabetes 2 and exercise. It involves all your muscles. Your muscles store glycogen. During weightlifting, muscles of your body use glycogen as fuel. Once this glycogen runs out, the body starts mobilizing extra glycogen from the liver and blood. It directly starts decreasing your blood sugar levels. Weightlifting also reduces your body weight. Thus, it lowers your A1C levels. exercises for diabetic patients


Another good addition to your type 2 diabetes workout plan could be pilates. It is a fitness program designed for improving core strength, balance, and coordination. It also boosts blood circulation in your body. For beginners, a pilates session of 20 minutes at least three times a week is the best way to keep your blood sugar in control. It includes a low-intensity workout that is helpful in diabetes management and improving strength resistance. exercises for type 2 diabetic patients

10. Callisthenics

When talking about diabetes 2 and exercise, people can consider callisthenics. It is performed rhythmically and with minimum equipment. This exercise for diabetes mellitus is similar to gymnastics to some extent. In Calisthenics, you use your body weight to strengthen your muscles. Callisthenics exercises include pushups, crunches, plank, squats, and lunges. It helps in improving posture and reducing the fat mass of the body. When you maintain your body weight, your blood sugar levels can easily be in control.  diabetes exercise at home

11. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Another one in the list of best exercise for diabetes type 2 is HIIT. According to ADA, HIIT is an efficient exercise regimen for diabetes management. It involves short bursts of intense activity followed by brief rest periods. For instance, try a 30-second sprint followed by a 1-minute walk. This approach significantly improves insulin sensitivity and helps regulate blood sugar levels. Start with shorter intervals and gradually increase the intensity as your fitness improves.

Exercise for diabetes type 2


Best Exercise For Diabetes At Home

Type ii diabetes and exercise are closely linked, and it’s rare to witness any improvement without exercising. Exercise is a powerful tool in managing diabetes, and you don’t need a gym membership to get started. Below are some of the best exercise for diabetes at home that can help you improve insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control.

Best Exercise For Diabetes At Home

Jump Rope (Skipping)

First one in the list of best exercise for diabetes at home is jump rope. Jumping rope is a fantastic at-home exercise for managing diabetes. It’s a high-intensity cardio workout that doesn’t require much space. Jumping rope for 10-15 minutes can significantly improve cardiovascular health, increase insulin sensitivity, and regulate blood sugar levels. Start at your own pace and gradually increase the duration and intensity as you progress.

Bodyweight Squats

Another great diabetes exercise at home is bodyweight squats. People consider squats when it comes to diabetes 2 and exercise as they regulate insulin function. Moreover, bodyweight squats have been proven to reduce HbA1c levels as per a study by the Journal of Novel Physiotherapies.

Bodyweight squats target your leg muscles, promoting glucose uptake. Start with 3 sets of 10 squats, gradually increasing the intensity as your strength improves. This diabetes exercise at home is excellent for building muscle and improving insulin sensitivity.

Jumping Jacks

Another one on the list of exercises for diabetes patients at home is jumping jacks. Jumping jacks are an aerobic type ii diabetes exercise that elevates your heart rate, aiding in glucose utilization. Incorporate 2-3 sets of 15-20 jumping jacks into your daily routine to improve cardiovascular health and insulin regulation.


Push-ups are one of the exercises for diabetes patients at home that can strengthen your upper body, which is crucial for overall fitness. If you’re new to exercise, start with knee push-ups and progress to full push-ups as you build strength. Practising this type ii diabetes exercise regularly helps improve muscle mass and insulin sensitivity.


Planks are a fantastic core-strengthening exercise for diabetes at home. Begin by holding a plank position for 30 seconds and gradually increase the time as your core strength improves. This type ii diabetes exercise makes your core strong which not only supports your spine but also aids in glucose regulation.


Exercise and diabetes mellitus planning go hand-in-hand, and one must make Yoga a part of the plan. Yoga is one of the ideal exercise for diabetes at home. Practicing yoga not only enhances flexibility but also supports stress management, which is crucial for diabetes control. Regular yoga sessions can improve both physical and mental well-being, making it a holistic approach to diabetes management.

Resistance Bands

Utilize resistance bands for arm and leg exercises to build muscle and enhance insulin sensitivity. This exercise at home for diabetes offers variable resistance, making it suitable for all fitness levels. Resistance band diabetes home exercise are a versatile way to improve strength and glucose regulation.

Stair Climbing

One of the most simple home exercise for diabetic patient is stair climbing. If you have stairs at home, use them for a great cardiovascular workout. Climbing up and down stairs for 10-15 minutes elevates your heart rate. This exercise for diabetes type 2 at home contributes to improved glucose control and overall fitness.

Incorporating these type ii diabetes exercises into your daily routine can be a game-changer for managing diabetes from the comfort of your home. Whether you choose the high-intensity jump rope or the mindfulness of yoga, each of these exercises offers unique benefits for your overall health.

Remember, consistency is key, and consulting your healthcare provider before starting a new physical activity diabetes type 2 regimen is a wise step to ensure you’re on the right path to improved insulin sensitivity and better blood sugar control. You can always get to know how to start exercising and find exercise for diabetes at home video on the internet. Start small, progress at your pace, and enjoy the journey towards a healthier, more active life with diabetes.

Read More: What is Type 2 Diabetic Management?

Exercise Benefits Insulin Health in Different Ways


Exercise burns extra calories and keeps your body weight healthy.  It also boosts the metabolism of your body for better health and maintains your blood sugar levels. When you exercise, working muscles use blood glucose and convert it to energy, which ultimately lowers your blood sugar levels

Doctors often recommend people with diabetes and pre-diabetes exercise regularly to keep their blood glucose levels in control. Exercise for sugar patient helps them in lower their blood glucose levels and improves insulin sensitivity in the following ways:

  • Use of an excess of body glucose: Workout for diabetics type 2 often immediately helps in lowering the high blood sugar levels. When you exercise, your body takes up extra glucose from your body. This glucose reaches the working muscles and organs of your body through the lower energy. Therefore, when people with elevated blood glucose exercise or go on a walk after meals, their blood glucose levels go down.
  • Reduce visceral fat:  According to, abdominal or visceral fat is one of the main contributing factors for the development of diabetes and pre-diabetes. Visceral fat cells store more energy and produce some chemicals and hormones that make your body insulin-resistant. Thus, people with excess belly fat are often at risk of developing diabetes. Resistance training is one of the best solution for them to maintain blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Maintain your body’s healthy weight: It is a fact that losing around 5-10 percent of your weight helps lower your A1C levels. Exercise helps you lose excess body fat and maintains a healthy body weight. Consequently, it improves your blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity. Therefore, people with diabetes and pre-diabetes should exercise regularly to maintain a healthy body weight.


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Prevent Diabetes-Related Health Issues With Exercises


Exercise aids in improving overall wellness and gives you a better health for life. People with diabetes need to exercise not only to maintain their blood sugar levels. It also avoids its related complications.

In addition to giving the benefits of controlling blood sugar levels and maintaining insulin levels in your body, exercise prevents you in many more ways. It prevents diabetes-related complications. It also helps in slowing down, stopping, or reversing the long-term health problems due to diabetes type-2. Here are some ways in which exercise combats with diabetes-related complications:

  • Restore nerve function: Nerve damage is one side effect of high blood sugar levels and a few diabetes medications. Exercise helps in restoring nerve function and reduces nerve pain. Exercise promotes better blood circulation in your nerves that reduces discomfort and pain and improves nerve health.
  • Improves cholesterol levels: Exercise helps in maintaining your healthy body weight. It eventually helps in lowering your cholesterol levels. When you are overweight, the amount of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) increases in your blood. It, therefore, leads to a higher risk of developing heart diseases. People with diabetes are also at a higher risk of developing heart problems. Therefore, exercise is essential to improve cholesterol levels.
  • Reduce inflammation: A 20-minute session of walking or other low-impact exercise reduces inflammation in your body. Exercise improves cellular response and insulin sensitivity in your body which helps in reducing inflammation. Simple stretching exercises are also helpful in lowering inflammation.
  • Improves joint health: Exercise treats joint health problems and limitations of mobility because of diabetes. Joint issues in diabetes patients can be due to nerve damage, excess body weight, or arterial disease. However, exercise is capable of treating all the problems and improves your overall joint health. Talk to a fitness trainer to start with the exercise for the diabetic patient to improve joint health.
  • Improves vascular health: During exercise, your muscles release a host of compounds. They are beneficial for vascular and circulatory health. It means during exercise, a large amount of oxygen and nutrients circulate in your body. Thus, it reduces the risk of diabetes-related neuropathy, heart problems, and loss of vision.

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How does exercise help patients with diabetes type 2?

When you exercise, your heart beats at a faster rate, and, you breathe a bit harder. It enables your muscles to work more to give you energy. The body’s muscles use blood glucose to get more fuel for the body. Therefore, your blood glucose levels go down. In addition, exercise helps diabetes type-2 patients to improve cardiovascular health. Thus, it reduces heart-related complications due to diabetes.

How can you know that exercise is affecting your body?

Not all types of exercises are for diabetes patients. Therefore, get help from an expert fitness trainer or a doctor to get the best workout plan or sugar control exercise. You should work out accordingly and monitor your blood glucose before, during, and after the workout. It will help you to know how your body is responding to the exercise or workout plan. You can maintain a diary to record your blood sugar levels and then show it to your fitness trainer or doctor in case of fluctuations.

Is it necessary to exercise? Why can’t I manage diabetes alone with medications?

Well, diabetes is a lifestyle disorder and physical activity exercise and type 2 diabetes are closely linked. So, one must consider exercising as it’s a natural way to overcome diabetes. It develops when your body does not produce insulin or use it to control blood glucose levels. Medications may benefit you to manage blood sugar levels but, you will remain to feel unhealthy. Exercise keeps you fit and physically active. It naturally helps in controlling your blood sugar levels and prevents related complications.

Why low-intensity workout is suitable people with diabetes?

High-intensity workouts or exercising for more time in a day trigger the release of stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline stimulates the release of glucose from the liver and, cortisol makes your body insulin-resistant. The strenuous activities release more such hormones that increase your blood sugar levels. It is the reason why a low-intensity workout is suitable for people with diabetes. Additionally, it prevents them from the risk of nerve damage due to diabetes.

What is the best time to do exercise to control diabetes?

The best time for physical activity diabetes type 2 is any time of the day. It is good to exercise at your convenient time rather than skipping it. However, make sure you have at least a few carbs before starting with exercise for type 2 diabetes patients. It will prevent you from the risk of a sudden drop in blood sugar levels during the workout. Discuss with your fitness trainer the number of carbs you need to take before a workout according to your blood sugar levels.

Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal 


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