It’s time to have the conversation with your patients, and Diabetes Canada is here to help.

You should know:

  • Physical activity can be as powerful as glucose-lowering medication… with fewer side effects.2
  • Physical activity levels of Canadians have fallen dramatically over the last 40 years.
  • Fitness level is one of the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality in people with diabetes.1
  • Low physical fitness is as strong a risk factor for mortality as smoking.1

Most people with diabetes or those at risk for diabetes do not meet Diabetes Canada's guidelines for aerobic and resistance exercise:

  • Your patients have the power to improve their blood glucose control by actively exercising for at least 150 minutes per week and engaging in resistance training two to three times a week.
  • Regular physical activity, in conjunction with healthy eating and weight control, can reduce diabetes incidence by 60%.2

We must do more to encourage regular physical activity and exercise for our patients!

Practical patient tools

Here are some practical tools to help you help your patients:

These tools will help you:

  • Counsel your patients with diabetes regarding physical activity.
  • Individualize physical activity recommendations with an exercise prescription for each of your patients.
  • Learn specific "how-to" information for aerobic and resistance exercise and strategies to improve adherence to a regular pattern of physical activity for your patients.
  • Identify exercise programs and resources to recommend to your patients.

All members of the diabetes health-care team should repeatedly recommend, regardless of a person’s starting point, a regular pattern of physical activity.


  1. Church TS, Cheng YJ, et al. Exercise capacity and body composition as predictors of mortality among men with diabetes. Diabetes Care. 2004; 27(1): 83-88.
  2. Knowler WC, Barrett-Connor E, et al. Reduction in the incidence of type 2 diabetes with lifestyle intervention or metformin. N Engl J Med. 2002; 346(6):393-403.
  3. 2008 Canadian Diabetes Association Clinical Practice Guidelines Expert Committee. Canadian Diabetes Association 2008 Clinical Practice Guidelines for the Prevention and Management of Diabetes in Canada. Can J Diabetes. 2008; 32 (suppl 1): S1-S201.

Physical Activity & Exercise Supplementary Brochures

To help you determine which brochure you should give your patients based on their stage of readiness and activity level, they have been broken into three groups:

Group 1 – Education and Awareness
Brochure 1: Benefits of physical activity

Group 2 – Turning Plans into Action
Brochure 2: Planning for regular physical activity
Brochure 3: Introductory resistance program

Group 3 – Building on Success
Brochure 4: Maintaining aerobic exercise
Brochure 5: Resistance exercise

Each brochure is specifically designed to match the appropriate message to the individual, so that they are more likely to tune-in and follow through.

Keep diabetes research moving forward

Your donation will ensure research never stops – help End Diabetes Now.