Exercise prescription for individuals with metabolic disorders. Practical considerations

Sports Med. 1995 Jan;19(1):43-54. doi: 10.2165/00007256-199519010-00004.


Regular exercise has been recognised as an important component in the management of patients with diabetes mellitus. In addition to acutely lowering blood glucose, exercise training improves glucose tolerance and peripheral insulin sensitivity, contributes to weight loss and reduces several risk factors for cardiovascular disease. When proper precautions are taken to prevent hypoglycaemia, individuals with diabetes can enjoy the same benefits from exercise as nondiabetic healthy individuals. As a guideline, moderate intensity, aerobic endurance activities should be performed for 20 to 40 minutes at least 3 times a week. Blood glucose should be monitored, and insulin dose and carbohydrate intake adjusted based on the blood glucose response to the type and duration of exercise. This review will summarise current understanding of the therapeutic role of exercise in the treatment of diabetes and will present guidelines for prescribing exercise in diabetic patients.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus / rehabilitation
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / rehabilitation*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / physiopathology
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / rehabilitation*
  • Energy Metabolism / physiology
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Insulin Resistance / physiology
  • Obesity
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Fitness / physiology*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin