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The NDSS is administered by Diabetes Australia
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Sport and exercise

Keeping active and taking part in sport is an important part of your diabetes management (as well as being a typical Aussie pastime). Try and make time for regular physical activity—whether it’s at the gym, going for a walk with the dog, or kicking a footy on the oval with friends.

Why be active?

“Exercise is your friend! Aside from all the benefits of exercise that health professionals will tell you, keeping good blood sugar levels is much easier when you’re doing regular exercise. It makes life less stressful and the occasional splurge doesn’t affect you as much when you’re keeping fit!” (Anonymous)

Being active can help you:

  • maintain a healthy weight
  • sleep better
  • stay positive and feel good about yourself
  • meet new friends
  • relieve stress
  • better manage your diabetes.

Things to consider

My biggest achievement? “Being able to continue playing sport and not having it affect me too much.” (Anonymous)

There are some things you need to consider about exercising and diabetes.

Don’t exercise if you are sick—this will only put pressure on your body and your diabetes. You need to focus on getting well first.

Recommended amounts of exercise—try and do some physical activity any time you are willing and able!  You need to work out what your goals are. The table below can help you decide what you need to do and how often.

Physical activity recommendations
What’s your goal? How often Intensity How long
Reduce risk of health problems At least three times per week Low 30 mins
Physical fitness 4 times a week Medium to high 30 mins
Weight loss 5 times a week Low 45–60 mins

Remember to test your blood glucose levels before and after you exercise. It may be necessary to eat something before exercise and have a snack when you finish. Have someone you are exercising with know what to do if you have a hypo.

Suitable types of physical activity

There are lots of different ways of staying active. Try to vary what you do and you’ll be less likely to get bored and more likely to stick with a fitness program. Here’s a selection of activities you could do: walking, jogging, cycling, dancing, aerobics, and even household chores, such as gardening and cleaning!

More information