Exercise: Much More Than Lower Blood Sugar
While exercise does indeed lower blood sugar and raise it too it is perfectly fine, and advisable, to exercise. Yes, its not always easy to manage, but to quote Christel Oerum:
Finding your formula for exercise and diabetes can take time but it can be done I dont think anyone should just accept always going high or low.
Ultimately, exercise should be more than just low blood sugar. Its a part of life that can make you healthier, happier, and will make diabetes management easier for both the long-term, and for other short-term areas.
Still not sure how exercise will affect your blood glucose and insulin dosage? Then let Hedia do the calculations when you enter activity into the diabetes assistant. Download it for free at the App Store or !
Why Does Exercise Sometimes Raise Blood Glucose
Exercise is essential for everyoneespecially for people with diabetes. Being active most days of the week keeps you healthy by reducing long-term health risks, improving insulin sensitivity, and enhancing mood and overall quality of life. Most of the time, working out causes blood glucose to dip. But some people, after certain types of exercise, notice that their glucose levels actually rise during or after exercise. Fear not! There are steps you can take to avoid this.
Exercise Can Improve Insulin Sensitivity For Up To 48 Hours After The Activity
Part of this is due to a clever protein called GLUT4. During exercise, your muscles need fuel to work hard and GLUT4 allows glucose to be taken from the blood and enter the muscles, providing that much-needed energy. When weâre at rest GLUT4 usually sits inside the cells, not really doing a huge amount. As soon as we start exercising it jumps into action and moves outside the cell to help it take in glucose from the blood. GLUT4 then stays in this outside position for hours after exercise, continuing to help glucose enter the cell, which is why exercise has a lasting effect on blood sugar levels.
As if that isnât motivation enough to start moving, research has now shown that if people with type 2 diabetes continue to exercise, the amount of GLUT4 increases, which helps control blood sugar glucose levels and increase the bodyâs sensitivity to insulin!
Thereâs also evidence that intense exercise, such as running and swimming, causes a 20-fold increase in blood flow around the muscles during the activity. This means that as more blood arrives to the muscles, it brings more glucose with it, which in turn is taken up by the muscle.â
Exercise can lead to weight lossâ
Thereâs no doubt that exercise contributes to weight loss but in addition to the visible physical benefits is its ability to reduce body fat.
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How Does Exercise Affect My Blood Sugar Levels Will It Make It Harder To Stay In My Target Range
Faheem: Exercise can affect blood sugar levels by decreasing them. The more strenuous the workout, the longer you will experience the effect on your blood sugar. Some intense exercises, such as heavy weightlifting, produce adrenaline which can cause a temporary increase in blood sugar levels.
Exercise will not make it harder to stay in your target range however, there are some strategies you can use to prevent high or low sugar levels: maintain an exercise routine of similar intensity and duration, and to begin incorporating exercise into your routine slowly if you are inactive. For some people, a low may result from a sudden, unusual amount of exercise.
Is Banana Good For Diabetes
Bananas are a safe and nutritious fruit for people with diabetes to eat in moderation as part of a balanced, individualized diet plan. A person with diabetes should include fresh, plant food options in the diet, such as fruits and vegetables. Bananas provide plenty of nutrition without adding many calories.
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Exercise Can Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Physical activity increases insulin sensitivityâ
When the body canât use insulin properly, key areas in the body like the liver, muscle, and body fat find it difficult to absorb glucose for energy. This is known as low insulin sensitivity or insulin resistanceâa state that can lead to health complications such as type 2 diabetes.
Enter, exercise. By engaging in as little as 30 minutes of aerobic activity a day , insulin sensitivity and blood sugar control can improve, and in one study it was found that these effects last for up to 48 hours after the activity. This means that your muscle cells find it easier to use any available insulin to take up glucose from the blood during or after the activity.
How To Manage Blood Sugar When Exercising
As always, testing blood sugar levels is a good idea. You should test before, during , and after exercise. If you can use a continuous glucose monitor , that would make testing during exercise even easier.
These numbers will help you establish what your blood sugar levels should be during exercise. Its especially useful to consult with a doctor if its new to you.
But, once youve figured out how your body responds, it should be fairly straightforward to establish how to manage blood sugar when exercising.
For instance, you might want to eat a snack prior to your aerobic exercise or, particularly if you want to lose weight and want to reduce carb intake reduce insulin for your meal. And, if doing anaerobic exercise, you might want to increase insulin.
So, dont feel discouraged by how blood sugar will change. Just be prepared. Always make sure to have a high-carb snack with you eat it while exercising if you need to!
Exercising with diabetes is manageable: many athletes can attest to this. Jay Cutler, the professional American football player, and Scott Allan, the Scottish professional association football player, both have type 1 diabetes.
Indeed, Christel is another inspiration so much so that weve interviewed Christel Oerum!
Some other aspects to consider:
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Great Bedtime Snacks For People Living With Diabetes
For some people, a healthy bedtime snack helps to prevent glucose swings during the night. By eating a small snack that is full of protein and healthy fats , your body may be better able to avoid an overnight high but if you take insulin, be sure to cover the carbohydrates in your snack even if it only requires a small dose of insulin.
Here are some snack ideas:
Plain nuts or seeds try eating a small handful
Raw vegetables, such as carrots, celery, cucumbers, or tomatoes, with a small amount of hummus or peanut butter
Plain yogurt, and you can add berries or cinnamon
Remember, a bedtime snack is only helpful for some people. To see if it works for you, youll have to carefully monitor your glucose before bed, during the night, and when you wake up.
How To Tell If Its Safe To Exercise
Before you begin your workout, start by measuring your blood sugar, Dr. Hatipoglu says.
When you initiate exercise, your body releases stress hormones, which can briefly raise your blood sugar.
If you have diabetes and your body doesnt manage blood sugar well, it can increase too much during the first half hour of exercise before it begins to lower.
If you start exercising with very high blood sugar, it might be dangerous, she says. You might need to wait for it to go down a bit before starting your workout.
She offers four tips for ensuring that your glucose levels are safe for exercise:
The American Diabetes Association recommends about 150 minutes of moderate exercise or 75 minutes of rigorous exercise weekly.
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Can Deep Breathing Lower Blood Sugar
Likewise breathing exercise can reduce stress and blood sugar and promote blood supply to all body parts. Such exercises stimulate insulin secretions in diabetes type-2 patients . Fasting blood sugar and post prandial blood sugar can be when diaphragmatic breathing exercises are performed regularly.
Why Do My Blood Sugars Go Up With Certain Types Of Exercise
Glucose is the fuel that is used almost exclusively during intense exercise. Because the demand for glucose is so high, the body needs to retrieve some from its storage form of glucose . Levels of certain hormones, including adrenaline , increase causing blood sugars to rise seven- to eight-fold. However, glucose utilization only increases three-to four fold. Ultimately, more glucose is produced than is used. Even for people who dont have diabetes, this causes a small rise in blood sugar during intense exercise that may persist for up to one or two hours. Insulin levels rise to bring blood sugar back to normal. However, people with type 2 diabetes may not have enough insulin, and their muscles may not use the insulin well enough, to bring sugars back down quickly. For people with type 1 diabetes, the physiological response is absent.
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After An Exercise Session
- Check your BGL and monitor it for up to 24 hours.
- Have a carbohydrate snack or meal, if required.
- Be aware of overnight hypoglycaemia. Have a low GI snack before bed if you think your BGLs might drop during the night.
- If you require blood glucose lowering medication or insulin you may need to adjust your dose as your BGL reduces as a result of the exercise. This is particularly important if you are exercising at a high intensity or for longer than 30 minutes at a time. Speak to your health care team before making any changes to your medication dose.
Dont Do Resistance Training To Get A High Blood Sugar Down
While resistance training is great for improving your insulin sensitivity, its not the appropriate type of exercise if youre looking to get a high blood sugar down quickly since it can make your blood sugar increase during your workout .
The spike in blood sugars that many people see during resistance training is only temporary, but not what you want if you are trying to lower your blood sugar.
I hope that this post has given you a good idea of how you can use exercise to lower your blood sugars, even if youre not on any medications, as well as given you an overview of which types of exercise if optimal for different goals. Now go have fun with it!
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Causes Of High Blood Sugar
The leading causes of high blood sugar or hyperglycemia include:
Diet: Glucose comes from food, so what you are eating causes high blood sugar. Carbohydrates are the most common culprit as they are broken down into glucose very quickly in the body. High-sugar foods, high-fat foods, and processed foods also cause blood glucose spikes and should be replaced with healthier options.
Stress: When you are stressed, more stress hormones and chemicals are released, which drives blood sugar levels up too. If the stress is only temporary, this is not a serious issue, but if you experience chronic stress or an anxiety disorder, you may experience high blood sugar levels more often.
Metabolic Syndrome: These are a collection of conditions that occur at the same time and increase your risk for type 2 diabetes. High blood pressures, excess fat around the waist, and high cholesterol or triglycerides are examples of these conditions. When these occur in the body together, your risk for diabetes increases as does your blood sugar and the risk for potential complications.
Physical Inactivity: A lack of physical activity contributes to elevated blood sugar. When you are physically active each day, insulin works more efficiently, and your blood sugar can be maintained.
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Best Ways To Lower Blood Sugar Quickly
When treated early, you can bring high blood sugar levels down and prevent complications, including DKA.
Some sources suggest that drinking water or eating a high protein snack can quickly lower your blood sugar levels, though there isnt enough research to support this.
If you have high blood sugar and need to lower it fast, try the following methods:
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Blood Sugar Lowering Activities That Will Do The Trick Immediately
If youre experiencing a post-meal high , I recommend a brisk walk or living room dance-off, accompanied by plenty of fluid.
What you want to achieve is an increased heart rate that stays up for a period of time. This type of activity is called steady-state cardio and will typically lower blood sugars pretty quickly. Most people I have worked with see an impact already after 15-20 minutes, but it really depends on you, your blood sugar level, and your insulin sensitivity.
I usually recommend a brisk walk, but it can be whatever activity works for you, as long as it raises your heart rate. If its pouring rain or snowing outside, you can walk or dance around the house instead .
If you have limited mobility, it might be something as simple as standing up and sitting down several times in a row or simply fluttering your legs while seated. Work with what you got!
I think you get my point by now, just move, and get your heart rate up!
I also mentioned hydration, which is a critical component. Most people forget to get enough water throughout the day, and being dehydrated does not help when it comes to lowering blood sugars. So make sure to drink enough, even if you live in a cold climate.
Exercises To Lower Your Blood Sugar
How long you exercise, among other things, will determine how your physical activity affects your blood sugar levels. By increasing your bodys sensitivity to insulin, physical activity can drop your blood sugar for up to 24 hours or longer after your workout.
Learn how your blood sugar changes as a result of the activity. You can better understand the advantages of exercise by monitoring your blood sugar levels more frequently before and after training.
The results of your blood sugar tests can also be used to determine how your body responds to certain activities. By being aware of these tendencies, you can avoid having too high or too low blood sugar levels.
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How To Lower Blood Sugar Levels And Cholesterol
The American Heart Association recommends a three-pronged approach to managing cholesterol. This approach can also apply to lowering blood sugar levels:
1. Check: A key part of controlling risk is knowing the numbers. Check blood sugar and cholesterol levels regularly.
2.Change: Beyond diet changes, make lifestyle choices that improve blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
3. Control: With the assistance of a qualified healthcare team and support system, manage cholesterol and blood sugar levels to keep them in a healthy range.
Check, change, and control is not a one-time event. Rather, it is a continuous process that can produce profound results. Adjusting and readjusting the plan to fit an individual’s needs helps to create a healthy lifestyle and improved quality of life.
Lower Blood Sugar and Cholesterol
High cholesterol is controllable, yet it is still a major risk factor for developing chronic and serious diseases. It contributes significantly to the following conditions:
Coronary heart disease Heart attack Stroke
High blood sugar increases the risk of complications with diabetes. These complications can be serious and include nerve damage and reduce quality of life. Damage can also affect other organs, including the kidneys, eyes, and heart.
Common Risk Factors
Being aware of common risk factors can help identify disease risks. Common risk factors associated with high blood sugar and cholesterol include:
Tips To Help You Get And Stay Motivated To Exercise
If you need help staying motivated to exercise, youre not alone. Especially if youre new to daily exercise, it can be tough to get out there and do it. These tips can help.
Set goals. Especially for competitive people, setting personal goals for exercise can help you look forward to your daily routine and keep you motivated to achieve your goals for the personal satisfactionand great health benefitsyoull receive.
Do exercises you like. Any physical activity at the right intensity counts, so find something you enjoy to help you stay motivated to do it. Swimming, biking, walking, heavy gardening, boxing, softball, soccer, dancing, and climbing are just a few of the many options you have.
Listen to music or books. Create playlists of music that inspires you to move, or listen to an audiobook or podcast while you work out to keep your mind occupied as your body moves.
Get a dog. If youre a dog-lover, a pet may be the motivation you need to get out and exercise every day. Dogs need daily walks, and your dog will keep you company while you get the exercise you need.
Find an exercise buddy. Talk to friends and family to find someone to work out with. Exercising with a buddy keeps you both motivated to show up for your sessions. You and your workout partner can keep each other motivated and accountable, and you can set goals together and celebrate when you achieve them.
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