Staying Fit For Life

An instructor gives directions to a man riding an exercise bike in a diabetes education classIf you have diabetes, you have probably been told that exercise is especially good for you and can help you to manage your disease. What are some of the positive changes that regular exercise can bring you?

Benefits of regular exercise

  1. Lowers blood sugar levels and improves the way your body uses insulin
  2. Improves cholesterol levels, lowers bad (LDL) and raises good (HDL) cholesterol
  3. Decreases blood pressure and makes your heart stronger
  4. Increases muscular strength and stamina
  5. Helps control weight
  6. Increases flexibility and improves balance
  7. Boosts energy levels
  8. Improves self-esteem and sense of well-being
  9. Reduces stress
  10. Helps you to look and feel great!

Fitness Center

At the Texas Diabetes Institute (TDI), we want you to start receiving the benefits of becoming more active. Our Fitness Center offers a supervised exercise program at a state-of-the-art fitness center, for people with diabetes and other chronic conditions.

Our fitness professionals can conduct an individual fitness assessment for a small fee and will design an effective individualized exercise plan to help you meet your goals safely.

Our gym is equipped with treadmills, stationary bikes, arm cycles and elliptical trainers for increasing cardiovascular fitness. Cable weights and dumbbells are available for strength training.

Body composition measurements done in the center can help track decreases in body fat and increases in muscle mass which result from regular exercise. In addition, we log our participant’s blood sugars, blood pressure, weight, and activity throughout the exercise program to help individuals to reach their goals.


  • Adult Program - We offer a supportive environment for exercise among friendly people who share common goals and concerns. Sessions are scheduled to promote regular attendance and to encourage group support. Membership requires a written referral from your physician. New member orientations are held monthly. For program fees and more details about this program call 210-358-7206, or for Spanish call 210-358-7239. Current hours of operation are: 7 am - 4:30 pm Monday - Thursday and 7am - 3 pm Friday
  • Youth In Motion - We understand that good health and fitness are essential to living a healthy life. This is especially true for children. We’re dedicated to educating our youth about these issues to ensure that they see a brighter tomorrow. Our Youth in Motion program gives children a head start on a healthy lifestyle. For current program fees and for more details about this program call 210-358-7355.

Tips for exercising safely

exercisemargaritaPlanning for safe exercise

  • See your doctor for a thorough checkup before beginning an exercise program.
  • Start slowly and increase time and distance gradually.
  • Avoid exercise outdoors in extreme heat or cold
  • Check feet regularly for blisters or injuries.
  • Carry ID that identifies you as a person with diabetes.
  • Do not exercise when you are ill.
  • Keep a record of your blood sugars for your doctor so you can review the effects of exercise on your diabetes.

Before exercise

  • Wear loose comfortable clothing and appropriate, well-fitting shoes.
  • Exercise with a partner. It will keep you both on track.
  • Wait about 1 hour after eating before exercise.
  • Check blood sugars before and after exercise.
  • Take along a source of fast-acting carbohydrate like glucose tablets in case your blood sugar becomes low (below 70 mg/dl) while exercising.
  • Drink plenty of water, before, during and after exercise.
  • If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood sugar is over 250 mg/dl then check for ketones before exercise. Do not exercise if you find ketones.
  • If you have type 2 diabetes and your blood sugar is over 350 mg/dl before exercise, you blood sugar could go up or down with exercise. Be sure to check your blood sugar again after exercise.