Best Exercises for Prediabetes

Best Exercises for Prediabetes: Top 12 Ways to Get Moving

Best Exercises for Prediabetes: Top 12 Ways to Get Moving

Best Exercises for Prediabetes can help manage blood sugar, improve insulin sensitivity, promote weight loss, and lower the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Physical activity is a powerful tool when you’re dealing with prediabetes.

In this article, we’ll explore the top 12 exercises and workouts to incorporate when you’re looking to reverse prediabetes symptoms and get your health back on track. These effective, beginner-friendly Best Exercises for Prediabetes will get you moving and pave the way for lifelong fitness.

Understanding Prediabetes

Prediabetes occurs when blood sugar levels are higher than normal but not yet at the point of type 2 diabetes. According to CDC estimates, 1 in 3 American adults have prediabetes.

Key markers include:

  • Fasting blood sugar of 100-125 mg/dL
  • HbA1c of 5.7-6.4%
  • Impaired glucose tolerance and insulin resistance

Without lifestyle changes, many with prediabetes develop type 2 diabetes within 10 years. The good news? Progression can often be delayed or reversed through steps like Best Exercises for Prediabetes.

How Exercise Helps Beat Prediabetes

Physical activity provides enormous benefits when trying to manage prediabetes, including:

  • Lowers blood sugar – Workouts improve how insulin removes glucose from the bloodstream.
  • Increases insulin sensitivity – Exercise makes your cells more responsive to insulin.
  • Aids weight loss – Activity burns calories to shed extra pounds linked to prediabetes.
  • Reduces diabetes risk – Active people are less likely to progress from prediabetes to diabetes.

Top 12 Best Exercises for Prediabetes


Experts recommend getting at least 150 minutes per week of moderate activity. Let’s look at great workout options.

  1. Brisk Walking

One of the simplest yet effective best Exercises for Prediabetes is brisk walking. It’s low impact and accessible for most fitness levels.

  • Walk for 30-60 minutes most days of the week.
  • Focus on good posture and arm swings.
  • Work up to a brisk, elevated heart rate pace.
  • Walk outdoors or on a treadmill.

Aim for 10,000 steps daily. Walking helps control blood sugar for hours after exercising. Get moving!

  1. Jogging or Running

Ready to pick up the pace? Jogging and running provide more intense cardiovascular Best Exercises for Prediabetes.

  • Start with short distances or intervals mixed with walking.
  • Gradually increase your miles or running speed
  • Run outside or use a treadmill.
  • Focus on good form and posture.
  • Warm-up and cool down properly

Check with your doctor before running, especially if you have joint problems or heart complications.

  1. Cycling

Whether outdoors or stationary, cycling is another go-to aerobic activity for managing prediabetes. Benefits include:

  • Burns calories to aid weight loss.
  • Builds leg and core strength.
  • Low impact for most people
  • Can be done outdoors or indoors.

Variety keeps cycling engaging – try trails, mountain biking, road cycling, spinning classes, etc.

  1. Swimming

Swimming provides a great full-body Best Exercise for Prediabetes without stressing joints. Key perks:

  • Improves cardiovascular fitness.
  • Works for all major muscle groups.
  • Cool water can aid blood sugar control.
  • Range from mild to intense effort levels.

Aim to swim at least 30 minutes 2-3 times per week. Do laps or try water aerobics classes.

  1. Bodyweight Workouts

You don’t need fancy equipment to reap benefits. Bodyweight workouts use your resistance for strength training. Try:

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Planks
  • Pushups
  • Sit ups.
  • Burpees

Focus on 12-15 reps per move for 2-3 sets. Mix up your routine to target all muscles.

  1. Strength Training

Incorporating strength training 2-3 days per week aids prediabetes management. Lifting weights helps build insulin-sensitizing muscle.

Try free weights, resistance bands, or weight machines for exercises like:

  • Bicep curls
  • Triceps extensions
  • Shoulder press
  • Rows
  • Leg press.
  • Calf raises.

Work major muscle groups and progress to heavier weights over time.

  1. Yoga or Pilates

For a low-impact strength option, turn to yoga or Pilates. These build core stability, balance, flexibility, and muscular endurance.

Key yoga poses include plank, warrior, downward dog, chair, and tree pose. Pilates focuses on the core stabilizers with moves like the hundred, side leg series and roll-up.

Try to take 60-minute classes 1-2 times per week to build full-body strength.

  1. HIIT Workouts

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) alternates between short bursts of intense exercise with recovery periods. Options for beginners include:

  • Jumping jacks/rest
  • Bodyweight squats/rest
  • Pushups/rest
  • Plank walk up/rest.

HIIT improves fitness fast! Start with 10-15 intervals for 15-30 seconds each.

  1. Aerobics or Zumba

Getting your heart rate up while having fun is key. Aerobics or Zumba classes are great for cardio and mood boost. Benefits include:

  • Burn major calories.
  • Improve coordination.
  • Engage different muscle groups.
  • Motivating group setting
  • Range of intensity options

Find inspiring instructors and music you love. This ensures you look forward to workouts.

  1. Tennis or Racquet Sports

Racquet sports like tennis provide great aerobic exercise along with hand-eye coordination and strategy practice. Other options include badminton, pickleball and racquetball.

Key advantages:

  • Fun social atmosphere
  • The mix of cardio and explosive movements
  • Engages core and upper body.
  • Can be played competitively or just for fun.

Take a few lessons to learn proper stroke techniques.

  1. Rowing Machine

Using a rowing machine utilizes over 80% of your muscles for a super effective workout. Perks include:

  • Low-impact cardio
  • Full body strength and toning
  • Engages core and arms.
  • Adjustable resistance levels
  • Good for most fitness levels

Proper form is key – keep your back straight and drive primarily with your legs. Start with short distances.

  1. Kettlebell Training

Finally, kettlebell training provides a simple yet intense option that combines cardio and strength. Try basic moves like:

  • Kettlebell swings
  • Goblet squats
  • Bent over rows.
  • Romanian deadlifts
  • Shoulder presses

Use lighter kettlebells (15-25lb) to learn movements. This is a great way to burn calories and work your entire body.

Sample Weekly Routine

Below is a sample mix of Best Exercises for Prediabetes to try each week:

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Brisk Walk Yoga Class Swimming Strength Train Rest Day Hiking Outside Bike Ride
30 min 60 min 30 min Laps 10 min Rowing + Leg Day Routine Stretch/Foam Roll 45-60 min Trail 45 min


Incorporating regular Best Exercises for Prediabetes provides major benefits for controlling blood sugar, shedding excess weight, boosting energy, and reducing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Focus on getting 150+ minutes per week of moderate activity by mixing aerobic exercise, strength training and flexibility workouts. Consistency is key – to keep moving daily.

Pair your fitness routine with healthy eating habits and any needed medical management for optimal control of prediabetes. Your health is worth the effort!

FAQs about Best Exercises for Prediabetes


What type of exercise is best for prediabetes?

The best exercises combine aerobic activities like walking, cycling, or swimming with strength training 2-3 days per week. Mixing it up keeps your routine engaging.

How often should I exercise with prediabetes?

Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week, ideally spread out over most days of the week rather than long weekend workouts. Daily movement when able also benefits blood sugar.

Is HIIT a good exercise for prediabetes?

Yes, high intensity interval training is effective but starts slow if you’re new to HIIT. Modify intensity and recovery periods to suit your current fitness level.

Should I exercise if my blood sugar is high?

Check with your doctor, but moderate exercise can often lower elevated blood sugar levels. Stay hydrated and monitor levels closely.

Can I prevent diabetes by exercising with prediabetes?

Regular exercise can significantly reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes by improving insulin sensitivity, weight status, and other factors. It’s a key part of prevention.

What should I avoid when exercising with prediabetes?

Avoid exercising when sick or injured without your doctor’s approval. Prevent very low blood sugar by consuming carbs if needed. Minimize high-impact activities if you have complications.

How long until I see results exercising with prediabetes?

Consistency is key – you should notice improvements in stamina and strength within a few weeks along with better blood sugar control after sessions. Longer-term results build over months.

What should I do after exercising for prediabetes management?

Cool down properly, rehydrate, consume a healthy snack if needed, stretch and foam roll tight muscles. Check blood sugar levels 1-2 hours later to see impacts.

Can I exercise too much with prediabetes?

It’s generally difficult to over-exercise but listen to your body. Extreme fatigue, struggle to recover, changes in blood sugar, and increased appetite can be signs you need more rest.

What exercises are easiest to start with for prediabetes?

Walking, yoga, swimming and beginner aerobics classes are great low-impact starting points. Strength training with resistance bands offers an accessible option as well. Build up from your comfort zone.

Scroll to Top