Now that you’re making strides towards eating healthier, it’s time to start adding more physical activity into your daily routine. As you set up your goals for new activities, be sure to talk to your doctor before making any substantial changes to your daily routine and physical activity.

Being active is important for many reasons. Physical activity can help you lower your blood sugar, blood pressure, and LDL (bad) cholesterol; raise HDL (good) cholesterol; and help you lose weight.

Getting more active can seem difficult at first, but it can be easier than you think. You just need to find small ways to move more each day, and this Game Plan goal can help you do just that.

Take a look back at the specific goals you set for physical activity with your diabetes healthcare team, and start checking the boxes for Goal No. 3 – Get in the Game! Again, it takes a fair amount of time to form new habits, so you should spend several weeks focusing on this goal. Keep what you’ve learned about physical activity with you as you move on to the next goal and continue putting it into practice each day.

  • Take Small Strides
    Break your exercise goals into smaller steps. For instance, start out with a 5- to 10-minute walk three times a week, and add a few minutes each week as you get more comfortable

    • Record your goals and weekly progress in The Game Plan Weekly Activity Tracker < print >
  • Plan Your Days
    Find time each week to be active, and pencil it into The Game Plan Weekly Activity Tracker < print >

    • Try setting your alarm for 30 minutes earlier each day, taking a slightly longer lunch break to work in a brief walk, or making time after work for a fun activity
  • Tell a Friend
    Sharing your goals with someone else makes you more likely to follow through and achieve them. Friends and family can also be a great support system and help keep you on track when you need it
  • Stop Taking the Easy Way Out
    Take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator, park farther away from your destination, and go to the next bus or train stop, instead of the closest one, so you have to walk farther

    • Find more easy ways to get active in The Game Plan Weekly Activity Tracker < print >
  • Team Up
    If you have other friends or family members that could benefit from getting more active, ask them to join you – it’s more fun to be with someone else!

    • If you have a friend who is already active, ask if you can join in on some of their planned activities for the week
    • Many cities have organized groups for physical activity – like walking clubs. Check out what’s available in your area!
  • Be Prepared
    To help avoid low blood sugar, make sure you do not participate in physical activity on an empty stomach, especially if you are advised to participate in physical activity by your healthcare provider and are taking certain diabetes medicines. Always carry a healthy snack with you, just in case!