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Be Active

The National Institutes Of Health's "National Diabetes Education Program"

Why Is Being Active So Important?

Being active keeps your body healthy and strong and gives you more energy. It can help you think and be more alert in school. It can also help you stay at a healthy weight or help you lose weight slowly. Being active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle.

Physical activity can make you feel better if you are in a bad mood or stressed out. It can relax you and help you sleep well. It helps your body use blood glucose (GLOO-kos), also called blood sugar, for energy. Physical activity can help keep your blood glucose in a normal range.

What Activities Can I Do?

There are many ways you can be active. Pick things you like to do
  • Take a walk, hike, or ride a bike.
  • Skateboard, roller blade or ice skate.
  • Play some music and dance with your friends. If you like video games, try a dance or other active video game.
  • Play basketball, baseball, softball, golf, soccer, tennis, volleyball or your favorite sport.
  • Go bowling.

Think of other things you can do and just move. It's an easy way to have fun.

Make physical activity a part of your daily life. Be active with friends or family members. It is easier and more fun when you ask someone to join you.

What Should I Do Before Being More Active?

Talk to your doctor about the types of physical activity might work best for you.

  • Check your blood glucose before the start and after the end of your activity.
  • If you take insulin, make sure your blood glucose does not get too low during or after activity. Always wear a Medical ID bracelet.
  • Keep something handy to treat low blood glucose, such as fruit juice, glucose tablets, or a snack.
How Active Should I Be?

If you haven’t been very active in the past, start slowly. Do not get upset if you cannot do a lot or if you get out of breath at first — keep moving. Any amount of activity will help. Slowly work up to at least 60 minutes everyday. You might find it fun to count your steps with a pedometer (step counter). Add a few more steps each day. Over time, work up to at least 10,000 steps a day.

What If I Hate To Exercise?

You do not have to play a sport or go to a gym. There are a lot of things you can do to be more active.

  • Do sit-ups or jump rope while you watch TV.
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  • Jog around the block or walk fast around the mall a few times.
  • Lift light weights to strengthen your muscles.
  • Help your mom or dad carry groceries, clean the house, cut grass, do garden work, rake leaves, or shovel snow.
  • Take your dog for a walk.
  • Ride your bike instead of driving or getting a ride from your parents or a friend.
Take Charge Of Your Diabetes

Remember, if you have type 2 diabetes, you need to choose healthy foods, be active every day, take your medicine, check your blood glucose as often as your doctor suggests, and stay at a healthy weight. Taking care of your diabetes will help you stay healthy, feel better, and keep your blood glucose where you want
it to

Last updated December 21, 2009