Diabetes, Exercise & Healthy Lifestyle Program

Diabetes affects 9 million people in Canada. With good control and proper management of diabetes, many complications can be delayed or prevented. Early awareness of blood glucose levels and making healthy changes can actually reverse or slow the progression of diabetes and help prevent serious problems.

The Diabetes, Exercise & Healthy Lifestyle Program is part of the Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation Program (opens in new window) » at Toronto Rehab, University Health Network. The program combines exercise, education, and healthy lifestyle behaviour changes.

The diabetes program is 16-weeks long. During this time, you will receive guidance from our team of doctors, nurses, kinesiologists, dietitians, psychologist, and social worker, along with support from your peers.

Features of the Program

1. Exercise Stress Test

You will begin the program with cardiopulmonary exercise test (also known as an exercise stress test). This test measures your cardiovascular fitness. We will then create a safe and effective exercise program, made just for you. The program will be based on your medical history, your exercise stress test results, and your goals.

You will repeat this exercise stress test at the end of the program to see your progress.

2. Group Onsite Classes

The group onsite classes include an include a warm-up and stretching routine, aerobic exercise (walking, stationary cycling or elliptical machine), resistance training, and education about your condition.

Over time, the team with encourage you to exercise 5 times each week. You will receive an exercise diary to help you track your exercise and see your progress. Exercise specialists will work closely with you to help you advance your exercise and achieve your goals.

3. Group Virtual Classes and Education

Group virtual classes are offered by computer and phone. These 60-minute classes are led by an exercise specialist who can help you learn how to manage your disease and make changes to improve your health. Some of the education topics include:

  • the benefits of exercise
  • exercise safety
  • goal setting and action planning
  • risk factors
  • targets for diabetes control
  • stress and diabetes
  • diabetes medicines
  • sleep apnea
  • foot care
  • healthy relationships with food
  • making healthy food choices
  • how to read food labels

4. Counseling and Workshops

As a patient in the program, you will also be able to access group and individual nutrition counseling with a Registered Dietitian.

Our psychologist and social worker provide group and individual counseling to support your mental health and wellbeing.

Join the Program

New Patients Welcome!