Blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is your body’s main source of energy and comes from the foods you eat. Diabetes is a disease characterized by blood glucose levels that are too high. Over time, consistently high blood glucose can cause serious health problems. While there is no cure for diabetes, it is manageable through lifestyle changes that include healthy diet planning and regular physical activity. Read on to learn more about the connection between diabetes and physical activity.

Diabetes and Physical Activity

One of the key components of managing your diabetes is your level of physical activity. Any increase in your activity level is beneficial in battling the ill effects of diabetes. Some benefits you can gain from an increase in your physical activity include:

  • Increased strength and endurance
  • Improved use of insulin in your body
  • Lower blood glucose levels
  • Reduced depression
  • Improves body mass index, an indicator of obesity

You don’t have to do structured workouts or complicated resistance training. Simple activities such as walking, dancing, gardening, or any movement that forces your body to use energy benefit your diabetes management plan.

Exercise to Improve Outcomes

Metabolic diseases such as Type 2 Diabetes respond well to exercise regimens, as does cardiovascular disease and mortality risk. Exercise plans have long been an essential element in the management of diabetes. A sedentary lifestyle is a recognized risk factor for cardiovascular disease and makes it more difficult to control diabetes.

The standard recommendation for physical activity is 150 minutes per week of moderate to vigorous physical activity for patients with Type 2 Diabetes.

Exercise and Your Blood Sugar Level

Exercise is an important component of any treatment plan for Type 2 Diabetes. To ensure you’re getting the best benefits possible from your exercise efforts, you’ll need to check your blood sugar levels before, during, and after you exercise.

To safely exercise, you need to track your blood sugar routinely. This will show you how your body is responding to your exercise efforts. Keeping a monitoring record can help you prevent possibly dangerous blood sugar fluctuations.

Before your workout

The very first thing you need to do before starting any fitness program is to check with your doctor for approval to exercise, especially if you’ve been sedentary. Also, ask your doctor how often you should check your blood sugar once you start your exercise program. For most people, especially those taking insulin or other medications to lower blood sugar, it’s recommended to test your blood sugar 15 to 30 minutes before exercising.

Best time to exercise

Your blood sugar is likely to be higher one to three hours after eating, making this the best time to get in your exercise. Testing your blood sugar before you exercise is important if you use insulin. It’s also recommended that you check your blood sugar after you’ve completed your workout or activity.