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How Does Exercise Lower Blood Sugar

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Get Your 30 Minutes In The Pool

10 Light Exercises to Lower Blood Sugar Levels | GlucoseZone

Your community or club pool can be a great place to start your exercise routine. Swimming is excellent aerobic exercise because it gets both your upper and lower body moving. And if youre overweight, it can feel great to spend time in a pool, where buoyancy makes it easier to move. Some ideas:

  • Dive in with a group. Try water aerobics, swimming laps with friends, or even a little water volleyball.
  • Use a kickboard for extra lift in the water, especially if you are a less-than-confident lap swimmer.
  • Work on increasing your time spent swimming. Each time you visit the pool, swim a bit more, resting as needed. To steadily improve your aerobic fitness, swim three times a week.

However you decide to fit swimming into your life, be sure to test your blood-glucose levels before and after you exercise, and adjust the intensity of your routine if it is getting too high. And never swim alone.

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:

Being Physically Active Helps Your Mind And Body In Many Ways

Exercise has so many benefits, but the most critical one is that it makes it easier to control your blood glucose level. People with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, either because their body doesnt produce enough insulin to process it, or because their body doesnt use insulin properly .

In either case, exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood. Muscles can use glucose without insulin when youre exercising. In other words, it doesnt matter if youre insulin resistant or if you dont have enough insulin: when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, your blood glucose level goes down.

If youre insulin resistant, exercise actually makes your insulin more effective. That isyour insulin resistance goes down when you exercise, and your cells can use the glucose more effectively.

Exercise can also help people with type 2 diabetes avoid long-term complications, especially heart problems. People with diabetes are are likely to develop blocked arteries , which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Exercise helps keep your heart healthy and strong. Plus, exercise helps you maintain good cholesteroland that helps you avoid high cholesterol and the build up of plaque that may block the blood from passing easily through your arteries.

Additionally, there are all the traditional benefits of exercise:

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Stress management

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Is It Worth It

Having these doubtful thoughts is not unusual: as JDRF points out, there are many with diabetes who avoid exercise because of a fear of low blood sugar, as a part of diabetes distress.

So, why do it? Youre probably aware that exercise is beneficial. This is especially true for those with diabetes, for various reasons.

First, those with diabetes are at higher risk of cardiovascular problems later in life. Regular exercise keeps the heart and blood vessels quite happy and healthy. Additionally, exercise prevents extra fat from building up around organs which would lead to insulin resistance.

For the short-term, exercise is a good way to burn off stress and release endorphins, keeping your mind happy. This is great since stress and diabetes are not the best companions.

Burning off that stress will also let you sleep better. Read more about diabetes and sleep here.

And those endorphins will help with a generally better mental health, including more self-confidence and better mood. That better mood goes hand in hand with the more everyday energy you get from regular exercise.

That doesnt mean you need to become an athlete to manage your diabetes. Even staying active by gardening or going for walks will help you. And if you have certain strains on your body, try exercises like swimming which dont rely on you to use the weight of your body.

Its really an all-round plus!

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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:

Why Is My Blood Sugar High After Exercise Type 2 Diabetes

If you’re doing intense exercise, your blood sugar levels may rise, temporarily, after you stop. Exercise that’s too hard can raise your blood sugar by making it harder for your muscle cells to use insulin. A workout helps pump you up by causing small tears in muscle fibers. When they heal, your muscles are stronger.

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Why Does Exercise Sometimes Raise Blood Sugar

Exercise can trigger the body to release stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol. Adrenaline can stimulate the liver and the adrenal glands to release glucose and cortisol which makes you more resistant to insulin. Strenuous activity, like competitive sports, can trigger even more stress hormones, in which case blood glucose usually increases .

In general, we know that different exercises affect us differently. And we also know that we’re all very unique, and the same exercise affects different people differently. Our blood sugar response will also depend on our level of physical fitness and personal exertion. Generally speaking, 30-40 minutes of running brings different results than an hour of cycling, swimming or even boxing. The intensity of the activity is often as important as the duration.

Finally, even though it can be unsettling, we must be persistent! High blood sugar is annoying, especially after exercise. Nevertheless, exercise and activity are very good weapons against your diabetes monster and they work in your favor in the medium to long-term, even if you’re struggling against those BG boosting stress hormones in the short term.

Typically, the post-exercise blood sugar spike settles down and returns to normal after an hour or two, so check again after some time if you’re able to. And the exercise itself pays dividends for much longer than that, so the tradeoff is well worth it.

Good info, Markus! Thanks!

Exercise Makes It Easier To Control Your Diabetes

How Can Exercise Lower Your Blood Sugar?

When you have type 2 diabetes, physical activity is an important component of your treatment plan. Its also important to have a healthy meal plan and maintain your blood glucose level through medications or insulin, if necessary.

If you stay fit and active throughout your life, youll be able to better control your diabetes and keep your blood glucose level in the correct range. Controlling your blood glucose level is essential to preventing , such as nerve pain and kidney disease.

Staying physically active helps boost your overall wellness, especially if you have type 2 diabetes. Photo: 123rf

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Take Extra Precautions With Evening Exercise

Exercise does two things for those who have type 2 diabetes, says Dr. Hatipoglu.

First, your muscles need energy to work. To feed them, your body burns sugar as an energy source, lowering the glucose levels in your blood.

Second, when you exercise regularly, it helps your body use insulin more efficiently. This can lower your blood sugar levels for up to 12 hours after you exercise.

Also, keeping blood sugar low on a regular basis can dramatically reduce your risk of heart disease, Dr. Hatipoglu says.

Every person reacts a little differently to exercise, so she recommends tracking your blood sugar levels for four to five hours after post-meal exercise to see what your trend is. This can help you determine if your levels are healthy or drop too much.

This is particularly important if you exercise in the evening.

Especially after dinner, you need to know what your body will do when you exercise, she says. If you go to bed and glucose drops it can create a dangerous clinical situation.

Exercising after a meal is a good way to reduce blood glucose levels and lower your risk of complications from diabetes, including heart disease.

But, before starting or changing your exercise regimen, talk with your doctor to determine what is best for you.

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Forward Can Help You Manage Your Diabetes

As your primary care provider, Forward helps you manage your type 2 diabetes through a personalized approach to disease management and prevention. Membership includes access to our Weight Management Program and our Heart Health Program, which includes risk assessments, blood testing, and an individualized plan for staying healthy and preventing complications of diabetes. Through goal-setting, ongoing monitoring, and access to the app to track your progress, youll have the tools you need to take control of your health and stay motivated to reach your goals.

Understanding Your Blood Sugar And Exercise

3 Charts

The effect physical activity has on your blood sugar will vary depending on how long you are active and many other factors. Physical activity can lower your blood sugar up to 24 hours or more after your workout by making your body more sensitive to insulin.

Become familiar with how your blood sugar responds to exercise. Checking your blood sugar level more often before and after exercise can help you see the benefits of activity. You also can use the results of your blood sugar checks to see how your body reacts to different activities. Understanding these patterns can help you prevent your blood sugar from going too high or too low.

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What Happens To Your Blood Sugar When You Exercise

Blood sugar, also called glucose, is one of the body’s main sources of energy. Physical activity can cause blood sugar levels to go higher or lower than the normal range, depending on a number of factors. Understanding how to maintain healthy blood glucose levels during exercise is particularly important for people with diabetes.

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What Blood Glucose Range Should You Target When You Exercise

People with type 1 diabetes, or those with type 2 diabetes using insulin, should be aware of their starting blood glucose concentrations, and should also have blood glucose monitoring equipment and snacks if needed to treat hypoglycemia. It is also a good idea to wear or carry some form of diabetes identification.

Blood glucose monitoring before, during, and after exercise is essential for everyone living with diabetes to help make adjustments and maintain stable and safe blood glucose levels.

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What Types Of Exercise Are Best For Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise to Lower Blood Sugar Quickly | 5 Minute Routine

Any exercise you do helps lower your blood sugar. Theres no single best exercise, duration of exercise, or exercise routine for reducing blood sugar. However, the two types of exercise everyone needs for optimal healthand that people with diabetes need for optimal blood sugar controlare cardiovascular exercise and strength training.

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Physical Exercise In Type 2 Diabetes

Physical activity in type 2 diabetes is the cornerstone of treating the disease. The beneficial effect of exercise on diabetes control and reduction of medication doses has been scientifically proven.

Regular moderate exercise also helps burn excess body fat, maintain body weight, increase muscle strength, improve bone density, lower blood pressure, improve circulation, protect against cardiovascular disease, increase energy levels, reduce stress, and relax.

Patients are advised to do most exercise, even running and sports, as long as the disease is under control and there are no complications. However, the decision should be preceded by a consultation with a doctor.

Of course, the same rules apply for type 1 diabetes, namely: monitoring glucose levels before, during, and after exercise, avoiding injections into areas involved in exercise , avoiding exercise at the peak of insulin action, properly fitted shoes, and watching the feet after exercise, etc.

The exercises for type 2 diabetics include gymnastics, walking, hiking, jogging, swimming, playing ball and badminton, cycling, rollerblading, and cross-country skiing.

The intensity of the exercises should be adjusted to the patient’s condition and age. Heart rate, blood pressure, and glycemia should be monitored during exercise to help determine the appropriate exercise intensity. The optimal duration of exercise is 20 to 45 minutes. Sugar-lowering exercises should be performed every other day.

What Kinds Of Strength Training Exercises Lower Blood Sugar

Focus on weight training exercises that work your largest muscle groupschest, back, shoulders, arms, abdominals and legs. For each exercise, do three sets of 10 to 12 reps each. Rest for one to two minutes between sets. The first five to six reps should be fairly easy, and the second five to six should be more difficultthe last two reps should be very difficult to complete, making your muscles burn uncomfortably.

If you have a gym membership, you can use weight machines or hand weights , or you can purchase dumbbells or resistance bands to use at home. Floor exercises, which use your own body weight to create resistance, are also great weight-bearing exercises. These include push-ups, sit-ups, lunges, squats, and planks. For floor exercises, perform as many reps as you can until your muscles refuse to do another. As with weight lifting, perform three sets of the exercise, and rest for a minute or two between sets.

Practice your resistance exercises two or three times a week on non-consecutive days. Allow 48 hours of recovery time after working each muscle group.

If youre new to resistance training, consider joining a class, hiring a personal trainer, or using videos as you get started. This will help you learn a range of exercises and use the proper form to help prevent injury.

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