Move more to reduce your Type 2 diabetes risk

Whether you have found out you are at risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, or are just looking for general guidance on how to keep fit, there are a few simple things you can do to improve your health and maintain a healthy weight.

Being physically active and moving more each day not only reduces your risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, it can also:


  • Help you sleep
  • Manage your stress levels
  • Improve your mood

Remember - doing just a little bit more than you did before is a great start.

How much activity should you do every day?

You should aim for 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise at least five days a week. Moderate intensity means that your breathing is increased, but you are still able to talk.

This is easily doable by making a few minor changes in your day:

  • Get off the bus a stop earlier
  • Take the stairs instead of the escalator or lift
  • Have a walking meeting or catch up with friends
  • Do an extra five minutes when walking the dog
  • Walk to the shops to pick up a few items
  • Use a pedometer to keep track of your steps – challenge yourself to do more the next day.

It is also important to do some activities that improve your muscle strength on two or more days a week. Don’t forget, this can include everyday activities like gardening or carrying shopping.

Fundraising is also a good way to have some fun with friends, be more active, all the while supporting a good cause. Try our Walk for Diabetes, or even take on our 1 Million Step Challenge.

Top tips to get active and reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes

  1. Pick a day and time that best suits you and set a reminder.
  2. Choose an activity you enjoy—you’re more likely to stick to it.
  3. Ask a friend or family member to join in.
  4. Before the activity, make sure you warm up to prevent injury.
  5. Have fun.

Food and activity diary

The first step to a healthy change is understanding what you currently do. Use a diary to record what you eat and the activity you do during the week. Once you’ve filled in the diary you can see where you can make small changes to your diet and activity level to help you stay healthy.

I heard sitting is bad for you. What can I do?

How much time do you spend sitting every day? In the car, at work, or in front of television- it all adds up. Research shows that as well as doing physical activity, sitting less is also important for preventing diabetes.

Here are some ways you could try to move more during the day:

  • Don’t miss out on your favourite TV programmes. Do chores like ironing while you watch, or try some stretches during the commercial breaks.
  • When you’re driving, plan regular breaks to stretch your legs.
  • Stand instead of sitting on the bus or train.
  • Take regular breaks from your desk at work.
  • Leave the car at home – when you catch public transport, you often end up walking more.

Even a very short break from sitting can be good for your health.

Where else can you find help to get active?

The NHS website has great tips and tools for getting active, from exercise plans you can do at home to their Couch25K app which will get you running in no time. Try something new today.