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Glycaemic Control: Is Home-based Exercise Effective?

Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic condition which results in high glucose (sugar) levels in the blood and is due to the body not producing enough insulin or using insulin inefficiently. It is a condition which can be improved through regular exercise and diet.  

Recommended Type and Amount of Exercise

A combination of aerobic and resistance training is ideal for improving glycaemic control, but the specifics can be a bit more in depth. As a starting point, aim to perform aerobic exercise of a moderate intensity on most days of the week, totalling at least 150 minutes per week, and resistance training twice per week. To ensure the best results and take into account other conditions or injuries you may have, it is important to have some guidance by an exercise physiologist.

Supervised exercise by an Accredited Exercise Physiologist provides many benefits for Type 2

Diabetes, one of which is improving glycaemic control (control of glucose levels in the blood). Glycaemic control is measured by glycated haemoglobin, which should ideally be less than 7% in Type 2 Diabetics. Supervised exercise, using both aerobic and resistance training, has been proven to reduce glycated haemoglobin, together with diet and medication. Exercise can be adjusted as needed to ensure it is right for you, and to meet the recommended amounts of physical activity which have been shown to improve glycaemic control.


Any exercise is better than none of course, but if you are doing so at home, be aware that it may not be as optimal as having exercise prescribed for you. Unfortunately, home-based exercise has been shown to not be as effective as supervised exercise in improving glycaemic control, which may mean more reliance on medication. Possible reasons for this are lack of adherence or not exercising at the right intensity or duration.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many of you may have stopped attending the gym and chosen to make use of one of our other services (home visits or telehealth), or stopped supervised exercise altogether. Overall, it is likely that staying home has led to decreased levels of physical activity, and possibly reductions in glycaemic control as a result. Speak to one of our Accredited Exercise Physiologists about getting back on track and finding the right exercise program for you.

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