October 14


5 Chair Exercises That Improve Circulation and Control Blood Glucose

By Gabriela

October 14, 2021

Having diabetes means finding a way to control your blood sugar levels on a daily basis. Usually, that involves taking medications and insulin, as well as following a healthy diet, exercising, and managing stress.

Besides controlling your blood sugar, these lifestyle changes help maintain a healthy weight. Especially exercise which is extremely beneficial for proper diabetes management.

Not mentioning all the other benefits of regular exercise, such as high energy levels, better mood, improved memory, sleep, and slowed aging.

Exercises for Blood Sugar Control

The best part is that you don’t have to go to the gym or spend a lot of time to achieve these benefits. The following exercises for better blood glucose control require half an hour, which can be divided into 3 chunks of ten minutes.

Also, they are quite easy as you perform them while sitting on a chair.

Some people with diabetes have a hard time performing traditional exercise, which is why chair exercises can be beneficial. They improve circulation, muscle strength, and joint flexibility, and reduce stress.

However, it’s always best to check with your doctor before starting any exercise program.

5 Chair Exercises for People with Diabetes

1. Warm-Up

As a warm-up, do toe and arm raises to strengthen your shin muscles. Sit on a chair and place your feet flat on the floor. Then, raise your toes up for 5 seconds. Release, and put your arms over your head for the count of five. Next, repeat the same thing with the opposite leg.

2. Stepping on the Gas and Brake

This exercise will help strengthen your knee joints and the muscles needed for getting out of a chair. Extend your right leg in front of you while sitting on a chair. Point your toes like you are stepping on the gas and keep that position for 5 seconds.

You’ll feel the stretch in your thighs. Then, do the same thing but this time push with your heel instead of toes, and extend your arms in front of you. Repeat the same movements with the other leg. Once you get stronger, do both legs and arms together at the same time.

3. The Charleston

Sit closer to the edge of the chair and step one foot out in front of you. Return to the initial position and step the opposite foot backward. Return to the center and repeat these movements slowly, and then faster.

Next, move the arms across your body while doing the foot routine, as shown in the video below.

4. Knee Raises

This exercise is great for those with lower back pain. Sit on a chair and lift your right leg so that you bring your knee close to your chest. Hold it with both hands and start moving your foot in a circular motion for five seconds.

Do the same thing with the opposite leg, and repeat the whole exercise once again.

5. Cool-Down Exercise

This stretching exercise will keep your spine and neck flexible. Put your left arm over the back of the left side of the chair and reach across your body with your right arm and grab the left. Now, turn your head to the left and look as far as you can. Then, repeat on the opposite side.

If you like, you can use weights in these exercises, but make sure you start with smaller ones, gradually increasing the weight amount as you build strength.

Also, you can do two or three exercises at the beginning if it’s too much for you, and gradually add more. Or, break them up over the course of the day, such as after meals.

So, in that way, you can exercise for 5-10 minutes, three times a day. But, as you gain strength your exercise time should reach 30 minutes.

These chair exercises can help improve your circulation, control your blood sugar levels, prevent blood sugar spikes after eating, and maintain your weight. Plus, they will boost your energy and mood.


  • Gabriela

    Co-Founder & Editor-in-Chief of Diabetes Health Page, Fitness trainer and instructor has dedicated her career to educating and informing people for over 10 years. As one of the most passionate diabetes advocates, Gabi has worked tirelessly to ensure that those people receive the education and support they need to properly manage their diabetes and achieve their health, fitness and weight loss goals.

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