How Does Exercise Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

Surely regular exercise is a daily priority in your life? You know that uncontrolled blood sugar levels is disastrous for diabetics, but how does exercise affect blood sugar levels? Let’s see how regular exercise is your best friend in this article.

It starts with glucose being the primary sugar in your bloodstream. Two things you need to know about your blood sugar 1) it’s your main source of energy 2) the sugar enters your body through what you eat. The control you have as an individual lies in your diet, and physical activity, both of which work to regulate the blood sugar in your body.

Our bodies are made to safely store and regulate the use of blood sugar under normal circumstances. But more and more people are finding abnormal problems with the regulatory mechanisms. And the problem is called diabetes which means that blood sugar levels stay, or try to stay, either too high or too low.

It’s a fact that everyone of us need exercise for staying healthy and maintaining our best lifestyle. But when you are working to keep blood sugar levels under control — exercise should be your norm, a given part of your lifestyle.

How Does Exercise Affect Blood Sugar Levels?

How Does Exercise Affect Blood Sugar Levels Infographic

It starts with all humans needing balanced blood sugar levels. If blood sugar levels are too high it leads to hyperglycemia. If these levels are too low it’s hypoglycemia. If it’s balanced, it.s called “good deal”, or normal.

Getting at least 30 minutes of exercise every day is one of the keys to maintaining a healthy weight, and blood sugar levels. You lose a great deal of your personal influence over your own health without regular exercise.

Do you balk at the idea of exercise because you think it’s too laborious, dull, boring, athletic or just don’t have time?

Exercise doesn’t have to be any of that, and more importantly, a few minutes a day can save your life!

All you need is a walk in the park, a few minutes at the gym, or using your own home equipment. It’s vital to do any physical activity that raises your heart rate for 20 minutes or more for affecting your blood sugar levels.

Raising Your Heart Rate To Control Sugar Levels

Use one of these heart rate monitors on a watch, or just exercise with enough intensity to become conscious of your breathing. Breathing is natural and done without knowing it most of the time.

You don’t need to be out of breath to get the benefits of exercise, but you can know you are tapping stored glycogen when you become aware that you are breathing deeper and harder.

We store Glucose in muscles for use as an energy source. Any type of aerobic exercise done at any intensity that raises your heart rate will aid in lowering blood sugar levels because your body is using glucose for fuel.

Your body will quickly use the glucose in your body and muscles for energy. When it’s depleted these stores the liver starts pushing glucose to the muscles to use for energy.

Increasing Exercise Intensity Increases Effects

When you increase the intensity or exercise for longer periods of time, the benefits increase. Either method simply winds up using more glucose from your blood.

Glucose from the food you eat goes into your blood and when needed, goes into your muscles for fuel. Your muscles store glucose as glycogen, but when that runs out because of physical activity, then it is replaced by taking glucose out of the bloodstream.

When you first start exercising, your body starts using up the glucose in your muscles and liver, then it gets it out of the blood, so your levels start to drop during prolonged exercise.

If you have diabetes, being active makes your body more sensitive to insulin (the hormone that allows cells in your body to use blood sugar for energy), which helps manage your diabetes. Physical activity also helps control blood sugar levels and lowers your risk of heart disease and nerve damage.

Source CDC

Later, after you’ve stopped exercising your body replaces the used up glucose in in muscles and the liver.

Checking Glucose Levels

This can cause glucose levels to continue dropping several hours after you ceased to exercise, so monitoring it is very important. You should test to find out where your levels are and adjust them accordingly with a snack perhaps.

If you exercise after dinner and check your glucose later on, it’s a good idea to have a snack before going to bed to prevent hypoglycemia while sleeping. This works out well for controlling and balancing blood sugar while staying healthy with exercise.

Losing control of your glucose levels can cause rapid health deterioration. Regular exercise should be very high on your priority list, with you paying close attention to glucose levels during and after your workout.

They may drop too low and you’ll need to adjust with whatever your doctor recommends using, perhaps a glucose tab or two to get into your system quickly.

Regular exercise is a great tool for keeping your blood glucose levels in check. It can also affect how your body uses insulin.

Snacks for Regulating Blood Sugar

So, do exercise to get and keep yourself healthy, just do it wisely and pay attention to your body. Check your glucose level before you start exercising and if it’s less than 100 mg/dl, then have a snack.

Have a snack, a piece of fruit or something that has about 10-15 grams of carbs in it, then wait for 1/2 hour. Test again and exercise only after your glucose level is above 100 mg/dl.

With regular exercise and a balanced healthy diet, diabetics can regulate your blood glucose much better than if you are a couch potato that eats fast food. Life will be much happier and more enjoyable for you and your family.

If you’re doing intense exercise, your blood sugar levels may rise, temporarily, after you stop.

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