Exercise is important!

We are all being advised to take exercise once a day and this is particularly important for people with diabetes as the treatment of both types of diabetes is medication (whether insulin or tablets) diet and exercise.

You can read our booklet, ‘Diabetes and Exercise’ on our website at the following lnk: https://www.iddt.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Exercise-and-Diabetes.pdf

Armchair exercises
If you have difficulty standing or walking it doesn’t mean exercise is out of the question. If you want to remain physically active then chair exercises could be just the thing for you. These gentle exercises will help improve your mobility and can help prevent falls. Choose a solid, stable chair without arms, that allows you to sit with your feet flat on the floor and your knees at right angles.

Wear some loose, comfortable clothing and keep some water handy. Build up slowly and aim to gradually increase the number of repetitions of each exercise over time. Try to do the exercises at least twice a week.

Chest stretch.

This stretch is good for posture.

Chest stretch

  • Sit upright and away from the back of the chair. Pull your shoulders back and down. Extend your arms out to the side.
  • Gently push your chest forward and up until you feel a stretch across your chest. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.

Upper body twist.

This stretch will develop and maintain flexibility in the upper back.

Upper-body twist

  • Sit upright with your feet flat on the floor, cross your arms and reach for your shoulders.
  • Without moving your hips, turn your upper body to the left as far as is comfortable. Hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat on the right side.

Repeat for 5 times on each side.

Hip marching.

This exercise will strengthen hips and thighs, and improve flexibility.

Hip marching

  • Sit upright and do not lean on the back of the chair. Hold on to the side of the chair.
  • Lift your left leg with your knee bent as far as is comfortable. Place your foot back down with control.
  • Repeat with the right leg.

Do 5 lifts with each leg.

Ankle stretch.

This stretch will improve flexibility and lower the risk of developing a blood clot.

Ankle stretch

  • Sit upright, hold on to the side of the chair and straighten your left leg with your foot off the floor.
  • With your leg straight and raised, point your toes away from you.
  •  Point your toes back towards you.

Try 2 sets of 5 stretches with each foot.

Arm raises.

This exercise builds shoulder strength.

Arm raises

  •  Sit upright with your arms by your sides.
  • With palms forwards, raise both arms out and to the side, and up as far as is comfortable.
  • Return to the starting position.

Keep your shoulders down and arms straight throughout. Breathe out as you raise your arms and breathe in as you lower them. Repeat 5 times.

Neck rotation.

This stretch is good for improving neck mobility and flexibility.

Neck rotation

  • Sit upright with your shoulders down. Look straight ahead.
  • Slowly turn your head towards your left shoulder as far as is comfortable. Hold for 5 seconds then return to the starting position.
  • Repeat on the right side.

Do 3 rotations on each side.

Neck stretch.

This stretch is good for loosening tight neck muscles.

Neck stretch

  • Sitting upright, look straight ahead of you and hold your left shoulder down with your right hand.
  • Slowly tilt your head to the right while holding your shoulder down.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

Hold each stretch for 5 seconds and repeat 3 times on each side.


Back to news archive