Wellness iNPractice Diabetes

Be Active for a Healthier You

Patients with diabetes benefit from daily physical activity, with improvements seen in glucose control, cardiovascular risk factors, body weight, and overall
wellbeing.1-3 It can be challenging to communicate the importance of physical activity to your patients and motivate them to include it in their schedules.

What Can You Do?

  • Talk to patients about how physical activity affects blood sugar and can help keep their blood sugar in a target range. Patients with type 2 diabetes who engaged in a physical activity intervention had an average A1C level that was 0.66 percentage points lower than patients who were in a control group, a statistically significant difference.1
  • Talk to patients about how physical activity can help them keep their weight within a healthy range and can help with comorbid conditions. When patients with type 2 diabetes engaged in moderate physical activity 5 days/week, they lost an average of 13.9 lbs. Weight loss increased with an increase in duration or intensity of exercise.4
  • Identify obstacles to physical activity and discuss ways to overcome them. See a list of potential barriers and solutions that were identified by the American Diabetes Association.
  • Help patients set realistic goals for physical activity and celebrate victories. Suggest starting with 10 minutes of walking each day and adding 5 minutes each week.
  • Talk to patients who are at risk for hypoglycemia (those taking insulin or insulin secretagogues) about eating carbohydrates if their pre-exercise glucose levels are below 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L).5

You can also download and print this brochure, “Be Active for a Healthier You,” for your patients. Available in English and Spanish, use this brochure for in-office discussions about the importance of daily physical activity and how patients can incorporate it into their daily routine.

Consider using the My Daily Schedule tool to help your patients find ways to include physical activity in their schedule.