Expert Explains Benefits Of Cycling For People With Diabetes

Cycling is a great option for people with diabetes who want to exercise and improve their diabetes management.

Written by: Sushmita Sharma Updated at: 2023-03-11 14:30

Diabetes has become a common health issue affecting people of any age group. It is associated with high levels of glucose (sugar) in the blood, which can cause a range of health problems, such as heart disease, nerve damage, and eye problems, if left untreated. Thus, it becomes essential that one does not take it lightly and make lifestyle changes that can help improve its symptoms. Although there may be no cure for diabetes, several ways exist to manage the condition and reduce the risk of complications. Cycling is a great option for people with diabetes who want to exercise and improve their diabetes management.

We spoke to our expert Dr Mohd Bilal Ahmed, Occupational Therapist, Master of Occupational Therapy (Neurology), 1323 Gali Kar Khane Wali Tilak Bazar, Delhi, who listed the benefits of cycling for people with diabetes.

Cycling is an aerobic exercise that gets the heart pumping and the blood flowing, which can help improve overall health and well-being. For people with diabetes, cycling can be particularly beneficial as it helps improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood glucose levels. The best advantage being it can be done both indoors and outdoors. 

Health Benefits Of Cycling For Diabetics

Here are eight health benefits of cycling in diabetes management.

Improved Insulin Sensitivity

People with diabetes have reduced insulin sensitivity. As a result, their bodies are less able to carry glucose from the bloodstream to the cells for energy. Cycling can increase insulin sensitivity, allowing the body to use insulin more efficiently. This can lower blood sugar levels and enhance diabetes control in general.

Lower Blood Glucose Levels

Insulin resistance is the primary factor for type 2 diabetes. The triglycerides that are used as the first fuel are burned during mild cycling. This aids in reducing blood sugar levels and activating glucose transporters.

Many studies have shown that cycling at a moderate pace for an hour can lower the sugar of overweight diabetics to half over the next 24 hours. Cycling faster for even half an hour can reduce blood sugar levels for an entire day for 19% of people.

Also Read: Expert Debunks Five Myths About Diabetes That Delay Timely Intervention

Age Is No Bar

Anyone in any age range can cycle. People can cycle even in their 50s, 60s and 70s, which is one of the biggest advantages for a person with diabetes. For diabetics who are overweight or obese, this activity is best. 

Weight Management

It can be difficult for diabetics to control weight as excess weight can make it more difficult to manage blood glucose levels. How about trying this fun activity to promote weight loss? Regular cycling can help increase metabolism, burn fat, and build muscle, eventually aiding weight management.

Improved Cardiovascular Health

Cycling is an amazing cardiovascular exercise that can help improve your heart health. Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease, so it is important to take steps to keep the heart healthy. Cycling can help strengthen the heart muscle, improve circulation, and lower blood pressure, eventually reducing the risk of heart disease and its associated complications.

Also Read: Diabetes: 7 Easy Physical Activities You Can Do To Manage It

Muscle Recovery

Cycling is a non-traumatic sport with faster muscle recovery, which is good for people with diabetes. It is possible to travel greater distances without fear of major physical harm. It benefits diabetics by engaging 70% of the muscular mass in the lower limbs.

Reduced Stress

Most people are stressed about their work or personal lives, which is quite common. But did you know its negative impact, especially on your diabetic management? It can make it more challenging to manage the blood glucose levels of your body. Exercise, including cycling, can help reduce stress and promote mental health. 

Improved Circulation

Diabetes can cause various complications, including peripheral artery disease and neuropathy, which can be caused by poor circulation. Cycling can help improve circulation, reducing the risk of these complications. When you cycle, your muscles contract and relax, which helps to pump blood through the body. This can help improve blood circulation and reduce the risk of health complications.


Cycling can be an excellent form of exercise for people with diabetes, providing a range of health benefits that can help manage the condition and reduce the risk of complications. Cycling 30 to 60 minutes daily is sufficient to help people with diabetes.


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