If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes, you have an opportunity to prevent the progression of this condition to type 2 diabetes. By getting regular exercise, changing your diet, and losing weight, you can play a key role in preventing diabetes. Any type of physical activity may be beneficial, such as:
- Sports or other types of exercise, such as walking, jogging, swimming, or biking.
- Household work, such as vacuuming or gardening.
- Work-related activities.
Try to do moderate to vigorous activity for at least 2½ hours a week.footnote 1
- Moderate activity means things like brisk walking, brisk cycling, or ballroom dancing. But any activities—including daily chores—that raise your heart rate can be included. You notice your heart beating faster with this kind of activity.
- Vigorous activity means things like jogging, cycling fast, or cross-country skiing. You breathe rapidly and your heart beats much faster with this kind of activity
It's fine to be active in blocks of 10 minutes or more throughout your day and week.
If your doctor says it's okay, do muscle-strengthening exercises 2 times a week and aim for 3 times a week.footnote 2 These exercises include push-ups and weight training. You can also use rubber tubing or stretch bands. You stretch or pull the tubing or band to build muscle strength. Be sure to work the major muscle groups: legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders, and arms.
Before starting an exercise program
- Talk to your doctor about how and when to exercise. You may need to have a medical examination and special tests (such as a treadmill test) before you begin.
- Choose a type of exercise that you like and that fits easily into your daily schedule. If you choose something you like, you will be more likely to continue the program.
- Drink plenty of water before, during, and after you are active. This is very important when it's hot out and when you do intense exercise. Consider a sports drink if you or your child has been exercising intensely or for more than 1 hour. This kind of drink can help replace electrolytes that are lost through sweating.
- Don't exercise if you are sick or injured or if the weather is very hot or very cold.
- Choose the best time and place to exercise. A poorly lit street with uneven pavement would not be a good choice.
- Wear shoes that fit well and polyester or blend (cotton-polyester) socks to keep your feet comfortable and prevent injury. Use silica gel or air midsoles in your shoes to keep your feet dry and comfortable.
For more information, see the topic Fitness.
- Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (2011). Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines For Adults. Available online: http://www.csep.ca/CMFiles/Guidelines/CSEP_PAGuidelines_adults_en.pdf. Accessed October 28, 2014.
- Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee (2013). Physical activity and diabetes section of Canadian Diabetes Association 2013 clinical practice guidelines for the prevention and management of diabetes in Canada. Canadian Journal of Diabetes, 37(Suppl 1): S40–S44. Also available online: http://guidelines.diabetes.ca/.
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer David C. W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofDecember 7, 2017
Current as of: December 7, 2017