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Creating Your Physical Activity Program

What makes a good activity program? There is no single program that is right for every person with diabetes. You need to develop a program based on your lifestyle, interests and physical abilities. Ask your doctor or healthcare provider if a clinical exercise specialist such as a clinical exercise physiologist or a physical therapist is part of your diabetes team or if he or she can refer you to an exercise specialist. Exercise physiologists or physical therapists have clinical training to know how the body responds to exercise. If an exercise specialist is not available, your doctor or another member of your diabetes team can help you get started. Together, you can create a program that fits your lifestyle and medical needs.

Begin by choosing an activity that fits your fitness level and interest, one that you can do on a regular basis, and enjoy! Walking, running, bicycling, tennis, cross-country skiing, dancing, stationary cycling, swimming and water exercise, chair exercises, tai chi and yoga are good activities. There are also common activities (often called “activities of daily living”) that contribute to overall physical fitness. Taking stairs instead of an elevator, parking farther from work, getting off the bus a stop earlier and gardening are all activities that contribute to fitness.

You can find books and CDs about diabetes and exercise in the Joslin Online Store.


Physical Activity & Fitness, part of the Staying Healthy with Diabetes Series.  

 Buy this book

Keep Moving! ...Keep Healthy with Diabetes.  

 Buy this CD

Page last updated: September 18, 2019