8 Exercise Ideas for Seniors Managing Diabetes

Seniors managing diabetes face many challenges even more so due to age and natural wear and tear of joints and muscles. There are ways to help improve your health even while managing chronic conditions like diabetes.

senior woman on a walk in the sun

How exercise improves managing diabetes

Scientifically, exercising makes changes in the body when it comes to glucose levels. It has the potential to increase or decrease blood sugar levels. But it can also help improve the body’s ability to produce insulin, increasing insulin sensitivity. 

Monitoring your blood sugar levels every 15 minutes throughout your workout will help you manage and treat it if it is low. Sometimes low blood sugar can occur if you’ve skipped meals or have been exercising for a long period of time.

Exercising while managing diabetes helps to:

  • Improve insulin production
  • Lower cholesterol
  • Manage weight loss
  • Improve flexibility, range, and balance
  • Improve mental wellness

What exercises are best for seniors with diabetes?

8 diabetes exercise tips for seniors

With so many exercises to choose from, sometimes it becomes overwhelming to determine which one is best for you. Customizing your workouts is ideal. In this way, you’re getting one tailored to your needs as a senior.

Having diabetes not only means managing your diet, but also your physical health. Here are 8 exercises for seniors that are low impact, gentle, and easy to do.

#1 Going for walks

Walking is a mild, yet powerful way to improve your body’s health even if you’re diabetic. It improves blood circulation and gets the heart pumping.

Being outdoors is also a wonderful way to relax and unwind even while walking the scenic environment of the outdoors will stimulate your mind and body.

#2 Swimming

Managing your weight is especially vital if you’re living with diabetes. Swimming provides a gentle way to exercise your heart and other muscles with zero impact on your joints. This is an excellent option for seniors with arthritis and other rheumatic conditions.

Swimming lowers blood sugar levels and helps to control the blood glucose in type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

#3 Cycling

Just being outside in nature helps lower stress levels. You can enjoy this with a few minutes of low-impact cycling.

Sometimes exercising for a long time can rapidly lower blood sugar levels especially in diabetics. This is why you need to monitor blood sugar all the time during exercise sessions.

# 4 Chair yoga for seniors

Yoga is a great form of exercise that helps your mind and your body. It is low impact and easy on the body. There are special yoga exercises made for seniors like chair yoga for example.

Chair yoga doesn’t require difficult stretches and it doesn’t push you into difficult stretched positions. Many of the poses allows you to comfortably sit on the chair as you do the stretches.

As part of lowering stress levels, yoga will help you to relax and reduce the “fight-or-flight” responses.

#5 Posture exercises

Posture exercises helps to gradually correct posture as well as encourage blood circulation. It is isn’t strenuous and gentle enough for seniors and elderly people to enjoy.

There are several posture exercises to do these include rowing (in the comfort of your home), leg stretches, and arm stretches.

#6 Dancing

Dancing doesn’t have to be fast-paced, but instead suited to the individual. Seniors can also enjoy dancing as it works the muscles, heart, encourages blood flow and these are just some of the benefits.

Chair dancing is ideal for seniors with limited mobility because it is low impact and easy on the joints.

#7 Resistant band training

Resistant band training for seniors is a great addition to an exercise routine. It helps strengthen joints and muscles as well as improve range.

Resistance bands also come in a variety of strength levels and you’ll be able to select the one most comfortable to you.

#8 Combination chair exercises

If you want something comprehensive and inclusive, then you’d probably enjoy chair exercises. These exercises combines various moves to target a variety of areas in the body in step-by-step motions.

These areas include the neck to improve posture, the knee joints to manage pain, seated jumping jacks for a low impact cardio and lots more.

Managing Diabetes and Overall Health with myGeneration

Even though these exercises are low impact, help to keep the body healthy by strengthening the muscles, encouraging tissue and cell repair, and lowering stress levels, you still need to be cautious.

Be sure to ask your myGeneration provider about what physical activity and exercise they recommend for you to ensure you are doing what is best for your diabetes and your overall health.

*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician or qualified healthcare professional.

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