Top Five Physical Activities for Diabetics

Moderate physical activity is generally a good idea for people with diabetes. While you should always check with your healthcare professional before starting any workout or physical activity, it's been recommended by both the American Diabetes Association and the National Institutes of Health that diabetics participate in aerobic exercise. The following presents the top five physical activities for diabetics—ones that can cut down on your stress and lower your blood sugar levels.

Can you beat walking? Probably not, because it can be done anywhere, at any time, for any length of time, independently or with others, and it's of course one hundred percent free. Walking is understandably very popular with people with diabetes. Getting in a half hour or an hour of walking three times per week is a fantastic way to boost physical activity for diabetics.

Dancing is good for both body and mind. It amounts to wonderful physical activity, it promotes weight loss, boosts flexibility, decreases blood sugar, and it's a great way to cut down your stress levels. Even if you have limited mobility you can dance by way of chair dancing—in chair dancing you use a chair for support and still allows you to get plenty of physical activity. In just a half hour, a person of average weight can burn as many as 150 calories.

A great exercise for stretching and relaxing muscles without putting pressure on joints like the knees, swimming can also improve cholesterol levels, burn calories, and reduce stress levels, especially for people at risk for diabetes. For diabetics, getting the most out of swimming may require swimming three times per week for at least ten minutes, and over time increasing that time. Be sure to keep a snack poolside, monitor blood sugars, and tell your lifeguard you have diabetes before dipping your toe in the pool.

Practice Tai Chi
It's been a great form of exercise for a few thousand years at least, and Tai Chi will continue to be one for another few thousand years. It uses very slow and smooth body movements to focus and relax both body and mind. Practicing Tai Chi has also been shown in studies to significantly improve blood sugar control, along with increasing feelings of vitality, energy and mental health.

Practice Yoga
Another activity that's very, very old, yoga uses movements that boost flexibility, balance, and strength. People who have chronic conditions often report seeing benefits from practicing yoga, and that includes people with diabetes. Yoga can reduce stress, boost nerve function and increase mental and physical wellness. It could even improve blood glucose levels.

Photo: Health Souls, Daily Inspiration Board

Swimming is another great activity for diabetics.