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How Does Exercise Affect The Level Of Blood Sugar?

Diabetes: Controlling Blood Sugar During Exercise

Diabetes: Controlling Blood Sugar During Exercise

You may become frustrated with the ups and downs of blood sugar levels when you exercise, especially if you are taking insulin to control your diabetes. But it is important to remember that your reward for your efforts is a healthier heart and healthier blood vessels. You can avoid problems by keeping good exercise records and learning how to adjust your medicine, what you eat, and your exercise schedule. How does exercise affect my blood sugar level? Exercise usually helps lower your blood sugar. It helps your body burn more sugar. This is because insulin works better during exercise. Exercising can be a good way to lower a high blood sugar (as long as you do not have ketones in your blood or urine). Sometimes blood sugars go up with exercise. This may happen because you are excited and are releasing a hormone called adrenaline. This is a normal response. The adrenaline causes sugar to be released from stores in the muscle and liver. The higher blood sugar usually happens in the first hour of exercise. How can I prevent low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) during exercise? Check your blood sugar before, during, and after exercise. The best way to know how exercise affects your blood sugar is to do a blood sugar test before, during, and after exercise. This is especially important if you have just been diagnosed with diabetes or if you are starting an exercise program. You should keep good records of your exercise and the results of your blood tests. If you do the same exercise at the same time of day and with your usual insulin dose and a similar starting blood sugar level, you will learn the effect of exercise on your blood sugar. You will know how you need to adjust your insulin and snacks to avoid low blood sugar. In your records include: the date and the time you started Continue reading >>

Insulin Levels During Exercise Critical To Performance

Insulin Levels During Exercise Critical To Performance

The amount of insulin circulating in the bloodstream during exercise is critical in determining performance and preventing fatigue from setting in early from hypoglycemia. In people with diabetes and in most people with type 2 diabetes, insulin levels in the blood fall during exercise, and the rise in glucagon released from the pancreas stimulates the liver to produce more glucose. If insulin is injected, however, the body can’t lower the circulating levels when starting exercise. Having too much insulin under those circumstances is bad news because it stimulates muscles to take up glucose from your bloodstream. Muscle contractions do the same thing, meaning higher insulin levels can result in double the glucose-lowering effect and rapid-onset lows. But, some insulin needs to be in the body. If you have too little, the body will be missing the normal counterbalance to the rise in glucose-raising hormones, and you could end up hyperglycemic instead. To perform optimally, you need some insulin in the body to counterbalance the release of glucose-raising hormones, but not so much insulin that blood sugar drops excessively. Timing of Exercise and Insulin Levels The timing of exercise may also play a big role in the body’s responses. For instance, a person is less likely to experience low blood sugar if he exercises before breakfast, especially before taking any insulin. At that time of day, only basal insulin (the insulin that covers the body’s need for insulin at rest separate from food intake) is on board, so the circulating levels will generally be low, but there are usually higher levels of cortisol, a hormone that increases insulin resistance, to compensate. If exercising after breakfast and a quick-acting insulin injection, the insulin dose may affect whether a Continue reading >>

How Exercise Affects Blood Sugar Levels

How Exercise Affects Blood Sugar Levels

One subscriber to my articles recently asked me how exercise and nutrition affects blood sugar. He thought it was going to be a short answer, and boy, was he wrong. So I decided to turn it into 2 articles: one to talk about how exercise affects blood sugar levels, and the other to talk about nutrition. If you’re a diabetic, pre-diabetic, or know a diabetic (or if you’re just a geek who wants to impress others with their knowledge), this article will be particularly helpful to you. Original source: here. How Exercise Affects Blood Sugar For the longest time, it’s been said that exercise lowers blood sugar, but that’s not the complete truth. Exercise only lowers blood sugar when: The exertion is sufficiently high The duration is sufficiently long. You have to cross a certain intensity threshold for exercise (this applies to both endurance exercise as well as resistance exercise) to have a blood-sugar lowering effect. Your exercise has to be moderate to strenuous to affect your blood sugar levels. How intense is that? That’s at least 60% of your maximal heart rate. How do you figure out your maximal heart rate? It’s approximately 220 minus your age. So if you’re 50 years old, your maximal is 170 beats per minute. 60% of 170 is 102. So your heart rate must rise above 102 in order for your exercise to have any kind of blood sugar lowering effect. In other words, people frequently ask me during my speaking engagements “is walking enough?” The answer is “usually no.” If one person is extremely out of shape, and walking gets that person’s heart rate to 60% of his/her maximum, then yes, it’s enough. But for most people, walking, no matter how fast doesn’t quite get their heart rate that high. More intensity is needed. If you don’t know how to count Continue reading >>

Getting Active And Staying Active

Getting Active And Staying Active

While we all know that being active is good for our health, both physical and emotional, it’s important to be aware that getting active and staying active can help you manage your Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes or help you reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes. For example, UK Chief Medical Officers’ Guidelines state that physical activity can reduce your chance of Type 2 diabetes by up to 40 per cent as well as reduce risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, joint and back pain, depression and dementia. Being active will: help you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight increase the amount of glucose used by the muscles for energy, so it may sometimes lower blood glucose (sugar) levels help the body to use insulin more efficiently – regular activity can help reduce the amount of insulin you have to take improve your diabetes management (particularly Type 2 diabetes) strengthen your bones reduce stress levels and symptoms of depression and anxiety improve your sleep How much activity do we need to do? The good news is all physical activity helps – whether you are a busy parent, teenager, sat at a desk all day or in your retirement years, doing any amount of activity can be beneficial. As well as activity in your daily routine such as getting to work, gardening or doing the housework, if you’re able, try to do some exercise. You can start with something gentle, like walking, and gradually work your way up to 30 minutes a day of moderate intensity exercise, five times a week. Whatever your age, the less time you are sedentary the better, except for time spent sleeping. Department of Health guidelines recommend: Early Years (Under-5s, not yet walking) For children not yet walking physical activity should be encouraged from birth, through floor-based play and wate Continue reading >>

How Does Eating Affect Your Blood Sugar?

How Does Eating Affect Your Blood Sugar?

Part 1 of 8 What is blood sugar? Blood sugar, also known as blood glucose, comes from the food you eat. Your body creates blood sugar by digesting some food into a sugar that circulates in your bloodstream. Blood sugar is used for energy. The sugar that isn’t needed to fuel your body right away gets stored in cells for later use. Too much sugar in your blood can be harmful. Type 2 diabetes is a disease that is characterized by having higher levels of blood sugar than what is considered within normal limits. Unmanaged diabetes can lead to problems with your heart, kidneys, eyes, and blood vessels. The more you know about how eating affects blood sugar, the better you can protect yourself against diabetes. If you already have diabetes, it’s important to know how eating affects blood sugar. Part 2 of 8 Your body breaks down everything you eat and absorbs the food in its different parts. These parts include: carbohydrates proteins fats vitamins and other nutrients The carbohydrates you consume turn into blood sugar. The more carbohydrates you eat, the higher the levels of sugar you will have released as you digest and absorb your food. Carbohydrates in liquid form consumed by themselves are absorbed more quickly than those in solid food. So having a soda will cause a faster rise in your blood sugar levels than eating a slice of pizza. Fiber is one component of carbohydrates that isn’t converted into sugar. This is because it can’t be digested. Fiber is important for health, though. Protein, fat, water, vitamins, and minerals don’t contain carbohydrates. These components won’t affect your blood sugar levels. If you have diabetes, your carbohydrate intake is the most important part of your diet to consider when it comes to managing your blood sugar levels. Part 3 Continue reading >>

Don’t Sweat It! Exercise And Type 1 Diabetes

Don’t Sweat It! Exercise And Type 1 Diabetes

The benefits of exercise are wide ranging. Regular physical activity can help people manage their weight, sleep better, reduce the risk of some diseases, including type 2 diabetes (T2D) and heart disease, and improve overall quality of life—among other proven benefits. People with type 1 diabetes (T1D) can gain the same benefits from exercise as anyone else. Yet studies show that many people with T1D do not engage in regular physical activity owing to a fear of hypoglycemia, or dangerously low blood-glucose levels. Exercise scientists and athletes with T1D alike say that people with T1D can exercise safely and effectively. It’s a matter of observing how your body responds to exercise, learning to balance insulin, food, and physical activity, and using research-supported strategies to minimize the risk of hypoglycemia during and after exercise. Managing hypoglycemia associated with exercise Sheri Colberg-Ochs, Ph.D., professor of exercise science at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, VA, has both professional and personal interests in understanding the risks and benefits of exercise for people with T1D. As an exercise physiologist, Dr. Colberg-Ochs studies the relationship of exercise to diabetes and lifestyle management. She has also lived with T1D for 44 years, while staying fit and active. Dr. Colberg-Ochs notes that the risk of hypoglycemia during and after exercise can be managed. “There’s not a tried and true method that works for everyone. It’s very individual, based on the type of activity and your normal diabetes regimen,” she says, “but you can certainly reduce the frequency of hypoglycemia that’s associated with being physically active.” The risk of hypoglycemia is affected by the type, duration, and intensity of physical activity. Aerobic a Continue reading >>

Why Some Types Of Exercise Can Make Your Blood Sugar Increase

Why Some Types Of Exercise Can Make Your Blood Sugar Increase

Have you ever wondered why your blood sugar falls during certain types of exercise whilst roaring to sky-high levels during and after other types of exercise? If you’re curious about the scientific explanation of the relationship between exercise and blood sugar, read on. I rarely come across scientific studies that explore how exercise affects blood sugar in people living with Type 1 diabetes, so when I recently got my hands on just such a research paper, I dug in with great interest (they specified Type 1 diabetes, but I would think that the results are applicable to anybody using insulin). Well actually, Google and I dug in. This research paper is heavy reading. You know those scientific papers where you feel like you need an advanced degree (plus a whole lot of Googling) just to understand the introduction? This is one of them. The paper is titled “Effect of intermittent high-intensity compared with continuous moderate exercise on glucose production and utilization in individuals with type 1 diabetes”, and is written by a team of scientists from Australia. It was published in the American Journal of Physiology – Endocrinology and Metabolism in 2007 (not exactly new research, but peer reviewed research nonetheless, which means it’s legit). Anyway, I thought that the subject was relevant and interesting enough to spend the time reading and understanding it. So, since I’ve done the heavy reading, let me share what I’ve learned with you. Exercise and blood sugar impact So why do some types of exercise make our blood sugar drop like crazy while others hardly have any impact? I know from my own experience that I really have to watch my blood sugars if I do steady state cardio, while an interval training session will have little impact or even make my blood s Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Exercise

Diabetes And Exercise

Tweet People with diabetes are encouraged to exercise regularly for better blood sugar control and to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases. The reason for this is that muscles which are working use more glucose than those that are resting. Muscle movement leads to greater sugar uptake by muscle cells and lower blood sugar levels. Additional benefits of exercise include a healthier heart, better weight control and stress management. Exercise is the common term used to describe any bodily activity that enhances or maintains physical fitness and overall health and wellness. Why is exercise important? As well as strengthening the cardiovascular system and the body’s muscles, many people exercise to keep fit, lose or maintain a healthy weight, sharpen their athletic skills, or purely for enjoyment. Frequent and regular physical exercise is recommended for people of all ages as it boosts the immune system and helps protect against conditions such as: Heart disease Stroke Cancer and other major illnesses In fact, it is known to cut your risk of major chronic illnesses/diseases by up to 50% and reduce your risk of early death by up to 30%. Other health benefits of exercising on a regular basis include: Improves mental health Boosts self esteem/confidence Enhances sleep quality and energy levels Cuts risk of stress and depression Protects against dementia and Alzheimer’s disease Furthermore, exercise is free, can be carried out anywhere at anytime and has an immediate effect on your health. What counts as exercise? In the UK, regular exercise is defined by the NHS as completing 150 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity a week. Aerobic activity at moderate intensity basically means exercising at a level that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat. This incl Continue reading >>

Diabetes, Exercise, And Glucose Levels

Diabetes, Exercise, And Glucose Levels

When you take insulin for your diabetes, exercise can be an important tool in helping you control your blood sugar (glucose) levels. However, there are certain times that physical activity might be dangerous when you have diabetes, increasing your risk of complications. The Benefits of Exercise: Blood Glucose Levels People who exercise tend to have better control over their blood glucose levels than those who don’t participate in physical activities. After physical activity, your blood glucose levels tend to stay low for hours or even a day or more. This is because your body has to use more of its energy reserves during exercise, leaving less glucose circulating in your blood. So for people with diabetes, regular exercise can lower your blood glucose levels and help improve your body's ability to utilize insulin. In fact, some people end up reducing their daily dose of insulin after they have been regularly exercising for a while. Exercise Risks for People Who Use Insulin While the benefits of exercise most often outweigh the risks for people with diabetes, there are some possible complications that can result from exercise. For some people with type 1 diabetes, or insulin-dependent diabetes, ketones can build up in the blood or urine due to elevated blood glucose levels and low insulin levels. This high level of ketones can be dangerous for your health, since ketones act as a poison to your body. If you perform physical activities when your ketones are already high, ketone production gets ramped up even more, which in turn can make your blood glucose levels go even higher. Another risk of exercise in people who take insulin for their diabetes is a complication called hypoglycemia. Hypoglycemia is when your blood glucose levels fall dangerously low. This can happen du Continue reading >>

Exercise, Blood Glucose, And Insulin

Exercise, Blood Glucose, And Insulin

Insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, also known as type 1 diabetes, causes severe neurological and cardiovascular disorders. Insulin plays a crucial role in maintaining glucose levels within the circulatory system. Glucose levels that are unregulated in the DM 1 patient may lead to possible life threatening situations. These situations can be either acute, such as diabetic (hyperglycemic) coma; or chronic, such as distal neuropathy and atherosclerosis. The proper education of exercise, nutrition, and monitoring of blood glucose levels is crucial. Physical therapists should necessitate this education for our patients that their acts are imperative to a healthy life. Diabetes is a condition that can be managed to an extent. Management will reduce the health care costs and promote longevity to our patient’s lives. The role of our profession in patient education is important. Exercise and nutrition has shown to reduce the amounts of insulin required for our bodies.1 As physical therapists, we must promote the benefits of exercise and nutrition to diabetes patients. The relationship between exercise, blood glucose, and insulin will be broken down into the following categories: exercise and it’s effects on blood glucose, exercise and it’s effects on insulin, and insulin and it’s effects on blood glucose. These categories will demonstrate the effects of pharmacologic interventions and non-pharmacologic interventions on diabetes. The best possible solution for control of blood glucose levels will be explored. This will demonstrate the importance of insulin injections vs. nutrition/exercise and their effects on blood glucose levels. The final section of this mini-paper will discuss the appropriate regime to be used for a patient with Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus ( Continue reading >>

How Exercise Affects Blood Sugar

How Exercise Affects Blood Sugar

If you're new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting! I love the phrase, ‘you can’t exercise your way out of a bad diet.’ That just goes to show what you eat trumps whether or not you are exercising. However, exercise is a very critical component to health, especially when it comes to helping to balance your blood sugar. Today, I am going to point out some reasons why exercise is a key regulator in blood sugar management. Moderate to intense exercise will release hormones that stimulate the liver and muscles to return any stored glycogen back into glucose and use it up. Once the stores of glycogen in the liver and muscles are used up, you can start to burn the stores in the fat cells. It’s optimal to not do too little or too much exercise to make this happen. I personally love interval type training for this purpose. You also won’t be able to burn body fat if you have high insulin levels in the body. If you are constantly bombarding the body with starches/sugars causing excess insulin to come and find away to shuttle it out of the blood stream, when you exercise you will not be able to get to fat burning mode (even if it says so on the treadmill/elliptical/bike at the gym). Again, diet trumps and you must eat a low carbohydrate diet if you want to have effective blood sugar management and weight loss. Another cool factor about exercise, is that it helps to change your resting metabolic rate. So even when you are not exercising you can burn up calories. If you do not know this about me, I have 4 boys. Four! They are ages 13, 9, 7 and 5. Any momma of boys knows how much they need their exercise. Well, add to the already craziness of a household of boys, boys who’ve had too much sugar at a friend’s house or a school party or whate Continue reading >>

Why Do Blood Glucose Levels Sometimes Go Up After Physical Activity?

Why Do Blood Glucose Levels Sometimes Go Up After Physical Activity?

When you exercise your muscles need more glucose to supply energy. In response, your liver increases the amount of glucose it releases into your bloodstream. Remember, however, that the glucose needs insulin in order to be used by your muscles. So if you do not have enough insulin available, your blood glucose levels can actually increase right after exercise. Basically, stimulated by the demand from your exercising muscles, your body is pouring glucose into your bloodstream. If you do not have enough insulin available to "unlock the door" to your muscles, the glucose cannot get into your muscles to provide needed energy. The end result is that glucose backs-up in your bloodstream, causing higher blood glucose readings. Here are some tips to safely exercise: Consult your doctor before starting an exercise program. If you are over the age of 35 you may need a stress test. Pick an exercise that you enjoy. Check your blood sugar before and after exercise. Do not exercise if your blood sugar is over 250 mg/dl and you have ketones. If your blood sugar is over 250 but no ketones are present, follow these guidelines: Type 1: If blood sugars are 300 or more, test within 5-10 minutes of begining exercise. If your blood sugar is dropping, you may continue. If it is not dropping, stop exercising. Type 2: Do Not exercise if blood sugars are 400 or more Plan exercise to prevent low blood sugar reactions. Exercise 1 to 1 ½ hours after eating. Always carry a carbohydrate snack (juice, glucose tablets, etc.) with you. Drink plenty of fluids. Wear shoes and equipment that fit well. Find more information about physical activity and diabetes in Staying Healthy with Diabetes – Physical Activity & Fitness available from the Joslin Online Store. Continue reading >>

Physical Activity & Diabetes

Physical Activity & Diabetes

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to manage and live well with your diabetes. Regular exercise also has special advantages if you have type 2 diabetes. It can also help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes from developing. Regular physical activity improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps manage your blood glucose (sugar) levels. What is physical activity? Physical activity is any form of movement that causes your body to burn calories. This can be as simple as walking, gardening, cleaning and many other activities you may already do. During a physical activity, active muscles use up glucose as a source of energy. Regular physical activity helps to prevent glucose from building up in your blood. Many people do not get enough physical activity to be healthy in today’s society. Technology and modern living have removed many regular forms of physical activity from our daily lives. Cars replace walking and biking. Elevators and escalators replace stairs. Dishwashers replace doing dishes by hand. Computers replace manual labour. Snow blowers and ride-on lawn mowers replace physical yard work. TV and computer games replace fun physical activities for both children and adults. Because of modern living, it is important to think about being physically active each day. Adding more physical activity to your day is one of the most important things you can do to help manage your diabetes and improve your health. Did you know? Low physical fitness is as strong a risk factor for mortality as smoking. Fitness level is one of the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality in people with diabetes. Physical activity can be as powerful as glucose-lowering medication… with fewer side effects. Regular physical activity, in conjunction wi Continue reading >>

Physical Activity & Diabetes

Physical Activity & Diabetes

Regular physical activity is one of the most important things you can do to manage and live well with your diabetes. Regular exercise also has special advantages if you have type 2 diabetes. It can also help prevent or delay type 2 diabetes from developing. Regular physical activity improves your body’s sensitivity to insulin and helps manage your blood glucose (sugar) levels. What is physical activity? Physical activity is any form of movement that causes your body to burn calories. This can be as simple as walking, gardening, cleaning and many other activities you may already do. During a physical activity, active muscles use up glucose as a source of energy. Regular physical activity helps to prevent glucose from building up in your blood. Many people do not get enough physical activity to be healthy in today’s society. Technology and modern living have removed many regular forms of physical activity from our daily lives. Cars replace walking and biking. Elevators and escalators replace stairs. Dishwashers replace doing dishes by hand. Computers replace manual labour. Snow blowers and ride-on lawn mowers replace physical yard work. TV and computer games replace fun physical activities for both children and adults. Because of modern living, it is important to think about being physically active each day. Adding more physical activity to your day is one of the most important things you can do to help manage your diabetes and improve your health. Did you know? Low physical fitness is as strong a risk factor for mortality as smoking. Fitness level is one of the strongest predictors of all-cause mortality in people with diabetes. Physical activity can be as powerful as glucose-lowering medication… with fewer side effects. Regular physical activity, in conjunction wi Continue reading >>

Exercising With Type 2 Diabetes

Exercising With Type 2 Diabetes

Manage Glucose, Lose Weight, and Reduce Complications If your doctor has diagnosed you with Type 2 diabetes, then she has probably already told you about the importance of adding exercise to your treatment plan. Physical activity can help you improve your blood sugar control, lose weight, and reduce your risk of heart disease, peripheral artery disease and nerve problems that are often associated with diabetes. In many cases, the right combination of diet and exercise can even help eliminate the need for medication for people with Type 2 diabetes. But before you get started, you need to understand how exercise influences blood glucose regulation, and how to avoid potential problems, minimize risks, and recognize when you may need to get additional information or support from your health care provider. *The general information in this article is not a substitute for talking to your health care provider before you begin an exercise program, or if you experience any problems in connection with your exercise. How Exercise Benefits People with Type 2 Diabetes In addition to boosting your energy levels, mood, and capacity to burn calories for weight loss, regular exercise can lead to the following benefits: Improved blood sugar control by enhancing insulin sensitivity. Exercising on a regular basis makes muscles use insulin better. When muscles are able to use insulin better, they are able to pull more glucose from the bloodstream to use for energy. The more vigorously you exercise, the more glucose you’ll use, and the longer the positive effects on your blood glucose levels will last. Increased insulin sensitivity. Type-2 diabetics who exercise regularly need less insulin to move glucose from the bloodstream and into the cells that need it. Reduced need for medication. Com Continue reading >>

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