Why is physical activity so important for people with diabetes?

Very simply… exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood.

Muscles can use glucose without insulin when you’re exercising. 

In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant or if you don’t have enough insulin: when you exercise, it results in the uptake of glucose without the reliance on insulin.

Your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, your blood glucose level goes down.

diabetes management
lady training in gym

If you have Diabetes the BENEFITS of exercise can't be overstated.

Exercise can play a vital role in both the prevention and management of Diabetes.

There are added benefits for people with diabetes: exercise lowers blood glucose levels and boosts your body’s sensitivity to insulin, countering insulin resistance.

Your Accredited Exercise Physiologist has the knowledge to monitor and adjust your exercise based on blood glucose levels. This means you can train smarter, not harder, and still get amazing results.

Our clients love the sense of control and achievement they get from exercise, regardless of how little or how much they’re able to do on any given day.

Discover how our Exercise Physiologists can help you…

Exercise is probably one of the safest and best lifestyle changes you can make if you have Diabetes.

But you need to make sure you exercise is the smartest and safest way possible.

You Exercise Physiologist has the knowledge to monitor and adjust your exercise based on blood glucose levels.

When you talk with our Exercise Physiologist, we will cover with you the following:

overweight young man with Exercise Phsyiologist

Health Services

Not everyone knows that Accredited Exercise Physiology is covered by some public health schemes and private insurances.

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Medicare Plans
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Private Health Funds
Private Health Funds

Commonly Asked Questions

The benefits of exercise in preventing and treating diabetes are widely recognised. Exercise has a direct effect on diabetes by lowering blood glucose levels and body fat, but also indirectly assists in the management of the complications of diabetes by improving cardiovascular fitness (reducing heart disease and stroke). Many other conditions are common in older adults with diabetes—these include osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, peripheral vascular disease, impaired mobility, elevated falls risk and cognitive impairment. Tailored exercise programs have been found to be beneficial in the management of all these conditions.

It is never too late to begin exercising—the people who show the greatest benefit are those whose diabetes is most poorly controlled. There are many perceived barriers to exercise, but, with careful planning by a physiotherapist, a suitable exercise program can be designed and safely implemented.

The complications of diabetes can provide barriers to regular exercise.

Foot ulcers are a serious problem, and exercise that does not place too much stress on the feet is essential.

This may include riding an exercise bike, resistance training, or walking in well-fitting footwear. It is important to inspect your feet before and after exercise for signs of damage.

Exercise Physiologist will create an individualised exercise programs.

This is a highly effective treatment modality in the prevention, management and in the rehabilitation of possible complications of diabetes.


Evidence from research projects in Australia, and other parts of the world, has proven that lifestyle changes, including increased physical activity, can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Exercise Physiologists have detailed knowledge of appropriate exercise prescription to assist in the prevention of diabetes, and are also skilled in managing co-existing conditions often associated with diabetes risk, such as arthritis, osteoporosis and heart disease.


Management of blood sugar levels in diabetes is essential to prevent the many serious complications that can arise.

Exercise Physiologists can deliver a well-designed, varied and monitored exercise program, consisting of aerobic and resistance exercise, that is suitable for the individual and will also result in improvements in quality of life.

Treatment of Complications

Heart attack, stroke, poor circulation in the limbs, sometimes leading to amputation and nerve damage, are all serious medical conditions leading to loss of physical function.

Exercise Physiology has a crucial role to play in the rehabilitation process following any of these events to optimise the physical functioning of the sufferer while continuing to manage their diabetes. The complications of diabetes affect balance and postural control, resulting in an increased risk of falls.

Exercise Physiology intervention can prevent falls and should form part of any intervention formulated to manage complications of type 2 diabetes.

Barriers to exercise

Exercise Physiologists have heard every excuse as to why people can’t exercise: ‘I’m too busy’, ‘It’s too expensive’, ‘I’m too old, fat or tired’, ‘I have too many things wrong’, ‘I don’t feel like it’, ‘I have no one to go with’).

These excuses are just that—they are perceived barriers which, with planning and support from your Exercise Physiologists, can easily be overcome.

Individuals are never too old or too unfit to start to exercise; the key is to gain clearance from your doctor, then start slowly and gradually increase your intensity.

Exercise Physiology in the prevention, management and treatment of complications of diabetes has been well-researched and proven to be a highly effective intervention.

Several studies have shown that diabetes can be prevented or delayed by lifestyle changes. 

Much evidence indicating the effectiveness of exercise physiology intervention in the reduction of falls has emerged, and exercise physiologists are now considered to play a crucial role in the prevention of falls in people with diabetes.

In people with a diagnosis of diabetes, blood sugar levels have been shown to be lowered by exercise in numerous studies, and the Exercise and Sport Science Australia position statement (2012) recommends 210 minutes of exercise per week and no more than two consecutive days without exercise.

Any type of exercise that gets you moving is useful in the management of diabetes. Several studies have shown that a combination of aerobic exercise and resistance exercise, such as weights, is ideal for maximum benefit.

Co-existing conditions, such as arthritis, stroke or peripheral vascular disease, may prevent a combined exercise program, but either type of exercise has been found to be effective in management of diabetes.


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