The role of exercise in preventing, treating, and even halting diabetes

Did you know more than 20 Canadians are
diagnosed with diabetes every hour of every day?

Over 10 million Canadians live with prediabetes or diabetes and today’s post is about exercise as a powerful tool in preventing, delaying or halting the disease and its progression. Think of exercise as powerful medicine with few, if any, side-effects.


  • Exercise can be as powerful as glucose-lowering medication… with fewer side effects.(Canadian Diabetes Association).
  • Physical activity levels of Canadians have fallen over the last 40 years with only 15% of today’s adults meeting the Canadian Physical Activity Guideline’s recommendations of at least 150 minutes of heart-pumping activity each week.
  • Fitness level is one of the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality in people with diabetes. (Canadian Diabetes Association).
  • Low physical fitness is as strong a risk factor for mortality as smoking. (Canadian Diabetes Association).
  • Those with diabetes can improve their blood glucose control by exercising at least five days a week and participating in resistance training activity.
  • Regular exercise, in conjunction with healthy eating and weight management, can reduce the incidence of diabetes by a whopping 60%.(Canadian Diabetes Association).

If you’ve been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, here’s how exercise can help:

Short-term benefits:

  • Lowers your blood glucose within 1 hour
  • Improves your mood, sleep patterns and provides you with more energy
  • Increases the effectiveness of the insulin your body makes or the insulin prescribed for you.

For more benefits, please see my feature for DeerFields Clinic.

2 thoughts on “The role of exercise in preventing, treating, and even halting diabetes

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