Walking and Type 2 diabetes

Four walkers under a blue sky, one walker has a walking stick

"I've lost half of the three stone I needed to lose - in less than a year - and intend to lose the other half next year the same way. This has brought my six-month diabetic sugar reading down from high to normal already."

Peter, walker

Moderate exercise is great for people with Type 2 diabetes. It helps you to control your blood sugar levels, watch your body weight and fight fatigue. And walking is a great way to get more active - especially if you're starting from scratch. You can take it easy to begin with and build up slowly as you get better. 

Before you start

Just make sure you take some precautions before you start walking. The first must be to check with your doctor. When you've got the go ahead, plan your sugar intake and insulin injections carefully around your walks. And avoid injecting into your legs before a walk, because exercising your leg muscles could mean you absorb the insulin too quickly. 
Check your blood sugar level 15 minutes before walking and 1 hour after you finish. If there's a big difference, check with your doctor before you take a longer walk. And if your blood sugar is unusually high before you walk - don't go. Wait until it's back to normal. 
Carry glucose with you - and if you're prone to hypoglycaemic episodes (hypos) without warning, go with a friend who knows what to do if it happens. Delayed hypos can occur up to 36 hours after activity, so if your walk is brisk, you might have to adjust your meals to avoid this. 

Health walks

If you'd like to have the support and motivation of other people when you walk, then why not join your local health walk scheme? Take that first step now and get more active.
To find out how walking helped Graham manage his type 2 diabetes, read his story

For more information, visit the Diabetes UK website.