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How Does Exercise Improve Blood Glucose Control?

Exercise And Blood Glucose Levels

Exercise And Blood Glucose Levels

Exercise is good for you. It’s good for the heart, good for losing weight, makes you feel better (really — it releases endorphins that elevate mood), and it’s good for blood glucose — well, sort of. It is good for blood glucose, but it can be tricky at the same time. So today I’m going to talk about how to deal with blood sugar when you’re exercising so that you can minimize the negative effects and enjoy the positive. OK, let’s start with some basics. Aerobic exercise, or cardio, is what we call activity that requires “the pumping of oxygenated blood by the heart,” to be delivered to working muscles. A general rule of thumb is that aerobic exercise is achieved when our heart rate and breathing rate rise in a sustainable way (in order to maintain this pumping of oxygenated blood — the heart rate to circulate the blood, the breathing rate to increase the oxygen intake). Anaerobic exercise occurs when the activity is simply too much for the heart rate and breathing to keep up with, causing you to become out of breath, and it includes activities such as sprinting and weightlifting. Here, we’ll be talking about aerobic activities, such as swimming, running, or dancing. So, what happens with aerobic activity? First, it lowers blood glucose. Why? Because the muscles are working harder and they need energy. The glucose in our blood is energy for our cells. Insulin is the hormone that transfers the glucose from our blood to our cells. So when we Diabetians exercise, we often “go low.” This is because the glucose in our blood is quickly moved into our cells, but the insulin in our blood is still active. Unlike non-Diabetians, the insulin we’ve injected doesn’t go away once the glucose has been moved. It keeps moving glucose out of the blood (and out Continue reading >>

How Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar In Type 2 Diabetes

How Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar In Type 2 Diabetes

If you stick with it, exercise can reduce your need for blood-sugar-lowering drugs.(ISTOCKPHOTO) You may consider exercise a nuisance, a chore, or simply a bore. But if you've been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you need to look at physical activity in a whole new light. Now it's a tool. Just like taking a drug or altering your diet, exercise can lower blood sugar on its own, even if you don't lose weight. "Exercising is the most underused treatment and it's so, so powerful," said Sharon Movsas, RD, a diabetes nutrition specialist at the Clinical Diabetes Center at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City. For most people with diabetes, exercise is a safe and highly recommended way to reduce the risk of complications. However, check with your doctor to make sure you don't have heart problems, nerve damage, or other issues that need special consideration when you are working out. How exercise affects blood sugar In general, blood sugar drops after exercise and is lower for the next 24 to 48 hours, says Movsas. "If I take a blood sugar reading after aqua-aerobics, I usually notice it's down," says David Mair, 79, of Marquette, Mich. When you exercise, your muscles become more sensitive to insulin and absorb more glucose from the blood. However, like many aspects of type 2 diabetes, the response can be highly personal. Exercise can sometimes boost blood sugar. At first, you'll need to test your blood sugar before, after, and sometimes during exercise, to see how your body responds). Exercise also helps lower blood pressurean important benefit since high blood pressure can contribute to heart attacks, strokes, eye problems, kidney failure, and other type 2 diabetes complications. Next Page: Start slow [ pagebreak ]Start slow and work up Even if you know exercise is good Continue reading >>

What Happens To Blood Sugar Levels During Exercise?

What Happens To Blood Sugar Levels During Exercise?

Muscles hold enough energy stores for a short burst of activity. After that, they depend on increased blood supply to deliver oxygen, blood sugar and other nutrients to manufacture more energy. Your body burns the sugar in your blood, and then calls for your liver to supply stored glucose to keep up with energy demands. This causes fluctuations in your blood sugar when you exercise. Video of the Day As you warm up, your muscles start to call for nutrients to manufacture energy. Glucose carried in your blood and delivered to the muscles is an energy supply, as are free fatty acids, a type of lipid carried in blood that provide energy when glucose is low. Using energy during exercise helps balance high blood sugar and provide fuel at the same time. As blood flow to your muscles increases, the energy supplies increase as well. Your muscle cells send signals to start burning glucose, and more of it is delivered to the cells. This lowers your blood sugar levels. Sugars from the foods you eat are stored in your liver and in other tissues in a form called glycogen. When your body requires more sugar than is available in your blood, it starts to convert stored sugars to a usable form, releasing them into the blood. Blood sugar levels in your blood increase as muscles and oter tissues call for release of energy into your bloodstream. When glycogen provides fuel for your muscles, your blood sugar fluctuates up and down as it's used. Elevated Blood Sugar If your blood sugar is high when you begin to exercise, it can climb higher. This is because your body does not recognize the glucose in your blood, and calls for your liver to break down more glycogen. If your blood sugar is high before exercise, you should wait until it is within normal range before you exercise, according to Jo Continue reading >>

Diabetes And Exercise: When To Monitor Your Blood Sugar

Diabetes And Exercise: When To Monitor Your Blood Sugar

Exercise is an important part of any diabetes treatment plan. To avoid potential problems, check your blood sugar before, during and after exercise. Diabetes and exercise go hand in hand, at least when it comes to managing your diabetes. Exercise can help you improve your blood sugar control, boost your overall fitness, and reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke. But diabetes and exercise pose unique challenges, too. To exercise safely, it's crucial to track your blood sugar before, during and after physical activity. You'll learn how your body responds to exercise, which can help you prevent potentially dangerous blood sugar fluctuations. Before exercise: Check your blood sugar before your workout Before jumping into a fitness program, get your doctor's OK to exercise — especially if you've been inactive. Talk to your doctor about any activities you're contemplating, the best time to exercise and the potential impact of medications on your blood sugar as you become more active. For the best health benefits, experts recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderately intense physical activities such as: Fast walking Lap swimming Bicycling If you're taking insulin or medications that can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), test your blood sugar 30 minutes before exercising. Consider these general guidelines relative to your blood sugar level — measured in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or millimoles per liter (mmol/L). Lower than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L). Your blood sugar may be too low to exercise safely. Eat a small snack containing 15 to 30 grams of carbohydrates, such as fruit juice, fruit, crackers or even glucose tablets before you begin your workout. 100 to 250 mg/dL (5.6 to 13.9 mmol/L). You're good to go. For most people, this is a safe pre-exercise Continue reading >>

The Step-by-step Approach To Better Blood Sugars: Walking

The Step-by-step Approach To Better Blood Sugars: Walking

If you’re like me, you might have a health-focused New Year’s resolution posted on your wall: "lose weight," "exercise more, "be less stressed." Unfortunately, making resolutions is easy, but sticking to them is hard. A 15,000-person survey found that four out of five people who make New Year’s resolutions eventually break them. And it gets worse: a sizeable percentage of people (11%) in one survey actually broke their resolution one week in! As I pondered this depressing data, I thought about scientifically testing the simplest, most fundamental exercise possible: walking. It can be done anywhere, does not cost anything, and requires no equipment. And because the barriers to doing it are so low, it also helps address that very basic New Year’s Resolution conundrum outlined above. What follows is my personal diabetes experience testing the blood sugar benefits of walking, a brief review of studies on diabetes and walking, and five tips to incorporate walking into your daily routine. If you find this article useful, check out my upcoming book, Bright Spots & Landmines! Walking with diabetes – my own experience As a fitness fiend my whole life, I tend to think of “exercise” with a very intense, all-or-nothing frame of reference: cycling, strength training, and playing basketball. So when I approached the question of how much walking could really drop my blood sugars, I was skeptical. In an effort to test it objectively, I performed a dozen periods of walking, and measured my blood glucose immediately before and immediately after finishing. I timed each walk with a stopwatch, always made sure I had less than one unit of insulin-on-board, and tried to go at a normal speed. On average, walking dropped my blood sugar by approximately one mg/dl per minute. The la Continue reading >>

The Best Kind Of Exercise To Control Your Blood Sugar

The Best Kind Of Exercise To Control Your Blood Sugar

You don’t need to be working out for longer, but you should probably be working harder—in spurts, at least. Studies have shown that interval training can help people burn more fat, and increase fitness levels even after just 15 or 20 minutes of exercise. And a new study found that people with type 2 diabetes benefited more from interval walking—their blood sugar was more controlled—compared to people who walked continuously. “The return on investment of interval training is fabulous, and it keeps exercise interesting,” says Richard Cotton, the National Director of Certification at the American College of Sports Medicine, who was not involved in the new research. “Walkers can incorporate interval training by warming up and walking for three minutes and jogging for one minute and repeating that pattern for let’s say, 30 minutes.” Interval training means alternating between different intensities of exercise and allowing time to rest in between bursts of action. This can mean simply speeding up your walk to a jog for a few minutes or, in the more extreme, it can mean high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and Tabata. But they’re all based in the same idea: short explosions of exercise that get your heart rate up followed by periods of rest or lower intensity provide a greater benefit. Martin Gibala, the chairman of the department of kinesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario has been studying interval training for years, though his focus has been primarily on very intensive exercise like HIIT. Some of his recent research has looked at whether quick HIIT sessions can stimulate similar fitness levels as moderate-intensity continuous training. “There’s a very large growing body showing interval training can be safely applied to many differ Continue reading >>

Exercise & Blood Sugar

Exercise & Blood Sugar

Activities of daily life increase insulin sensitivity. Some examples of activities that may decrease your blood sugar include shopping, cleaning, gardening, and walking. Exercise is more than going to the gym or playing a sport. Most activity is exercise. Activities of daily life—from cleaning, to gardening or shopping – are all forms of exertion that increase insulin sensitivity and that can lower your blood sugar. Most activity will lower the blood sugar, but not always. Exercises that decrease blood sugar Here are examples of exercise that will decrease the blood sugar: Daily life activities, like shopping, cleaning, gardening, walking and sexual intimacy, as well as obvious sports activities, such as swimming, jogging and tennis, will increase insulin sensitivity and lower insulin requirements. These activities may require reducing the dose of insulin releasing pills or insulin if you are treated with these types of diabetes medications, and may require consumption of extra carbohydrate to keep the blood glucose stable. Exercises that may increase blood sugar Here are examples of exercise that may increase the blood sugar: There are also activities and exercise that may increase the blood sugar. This is because the activity may release glucose counter-regulatory hormones, such as epinephrine (adrenaline) that opposes the action of insulin and raises the blood sugar. A classic example of this is bench-pressing free weights. It’s difficult to generalize, though, since other anaerobic activities will still lower blood sugar. Consult your medical provider team for specific questions regarding your activity. In another example, competitive activities will often raise the blood sugar. Someone about to run a race gets an epinephrine (adrenaline) surge that is part of Continue reading >>

Physical Activity/exercise And Diabetes: A Position Statement Of The American Diabetes Association

Physical Activity/exercise And Diabetes: A Position Statement Of The American Diabetes Association

The adoption and maintenance of physical activity are critical foci for blood glucose management and overall health in individuals with diabetes and prediabetes. Recommendations and precautions vary depending on individual characteristics and health status. In this Position Statement, we provide a clinically oriented review and evidence-based recommendations regarding physical activity and exercise in people with type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, gestational diabetes mellitus, and prediabetes. Physical activity includes all movement that increases energy use, whereas exercise is planned, structured physical activity. Exercise improves blood glucose control in type 2 diabetes, reduces cardiovascular risk factors, contributes to weight loss, and improves well-being (1,2). Regular exercise may prevent or delay type 2 diabetes development (3). Regular exercise also has considerable health benefits for people with type 1 diabetes (e.g., improved cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength, insulin sensitivity, etc.) (4). The challenges related to blood glucose management vary with diabetes type, activity type, and presence of diabetes-related complications (5,6). Physical activity and exercise recommendations, therefore, should be tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual. TYPES AND CLASSIFICATIONS OF DIABETES AND PREDIABETES Physical activity recommendations and precautions may vary by diabetes type. The primary types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2. Type 1 diabetes (5%–10% of cases) results from cellular-mediated autoimmune destruction of the pancreatic β-cells, producing insulin deficiency (7). Although it can occur at any age, β-cell destruction rates vary, typically occurring more rapidly in youth than in adults. Type 2 diabetes (90%–95% of cases) resul Continue reading >>

A Short Walk After Meals Is All It Takes To Lower Blood Sugar

A Short Walk After Meals Is All It Takes To Lower Blood Sugar

Seniors are more prone to developing diabetes, but a little exercise could make a big difference. A study published today in Diabetes Care found that three short walks each day after meals were as effective at reducing blood sugar over 24 hours as a single 45-minute walk at the same moderate pace. Even better, taking an evening constitutional was found to be much more effective at lowering blood sugar following supper. The evening meal, often the largest of the day, can significantly raise 24-hour glucose levels. The innovative exercise science study was conducted at the Clinical Exercise Physiology Laboratory at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services (SPHHS) using whole room calorimeters. Loretta DiPietro, Ph.D., chair of the SPHHS Department of Exercise Science, led the study. "These findings are good news for people in their 70s and 80s who may feel more capable of engaging in intermittent physical activity on a daily basis," DiPietro said in a press release. Putting Humans in a Box to Measure Their Energy Use The whole room calorimeter (WRM), which looks like a very small hotel room, is a controlled-air environment for human study that allows scientists to calculate a person's energy expenditure by testing samples of air. The balance of oxygen consumed and carbon dioxide produced varies according to the activity level of the person in the room. The WRM also measures the body’s use of different food fuels, such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The 10 study participants spent three 48-hour periods in the small calorimeter rooms. Each room was equipped with a bed, toilet, sink, treadmill, television, and computer, leaving little room to move around. Participants ate standardized meals, and their blood sugar levels were monit 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 >>

Exercise Strategies To Optimize Glycemic Control In Type 2 Diabetes: A Continuing Glucose Monitoring Perspective

Exercise Strategies To Optimize Glycemic Control In Type 2 Diabetes: A Continuing Glucose Monitoring Perspective

Exercise Strategies to Optimize Glycemic Control in Type 2 Diabetes: A Continuing Glucose Monitoring Perspective 1Institute of Sports and Exercise Studies, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Nijmegen, The Netherlands 2NUTRIM School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands 1Institute of Sports and Exercise Studies, HAN University of Applied Sciences, Nijmegen, The Netherlands 2NUTRIM School for Nutrition, Toxicology and Metabolism, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands Author information Copyright and License information Disclaimer Copyright 2015 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered. See for details. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. IN BRIEF The introduction of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) several years ago enabled researchers to investigate the impact of exercise strategies on 24-hour glycemic control. Such unique information on the glucoregulatory properties of exercise will ultimately lead to more effective exercise programs to prevent and treat type 2 diabetes. This article reviews the role of exercise and physical activity in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, complemented by recent data obtained by CGM. Although exercise is an important treatment strategy to improve long-term glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes, the impact of exercise on 24-hour glycemic control has remained largely unexplored. The introduction of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) several years ago enabled researchers to investigate the impact of exercise strategies on 24-hour glycemic control. Such unique information on the glucoregulatory properties of Continue reading >>

Timing Exercise For Maximum Blood Glucose Control

Timing Exercise For Maximum Blood Glucose Control

A study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Directors Association indicates that engaging in moderate physical activity after an evening meal is more effective at controlling postprandial (after-meal) blood glucose levels in people with Type 2 diabetes than engaging in the same activity before the meal. The researchers, out of Old Dominion University, looked at six men and six women with Type 2 diabetes and an average age of roughly 60. Each was being treated with either diet alone or with a combination of diet and oral medicines. The study involved serving the participants a standardized dinner on each of three days. On separate days over the course of the trial period, the after-meal blood glucose effects of no exercise, 20 minutes of self-paced walking on a treadmill immediately before the meal, and 20 minutes of the same activity 15–20 minutes after the meal were evaluated in each person. Blood glucose patterns were determined by blood samples drawn at 30-minute intervals for a 4-hour period before and after the dinner and physical activity. The data showed that walking after the meals stabilized blood glucose levels and resulted in less of a postmeal blood glucose rise than walking prior to dinner. The investigators note that engaging in physical activity at any time of day is likely to improve overall blood glucose control. As this research demonstrates, however, the short-term effect of exercise on blood glucose levels may depend on the timing of the exercise. Based on the findings, the study’s authors advise older people with diabetes “to undertake aerobic exercise after meals, including the evening one, to… reduce the likelihood of negative health consequences associated with postprandial glucose excursions.” For more information Continue reading >>

Exercise For Diabetes Control

Exercise For Diabetes Control

By the dLife Editors In case you haven’t heard: Exercise is really good for people with type 2 diabetes. It helps control blood sugar levels, increases energy levels, improves heart health, and promotes emotional well-being. Barring other medical complications, the majority of people with diabetes can and should exercise for diabetes control and for better overall health and well-being. How does exercise lower blood sugar? Exercise lowers blood sugar in two ways: First, exercise increases insulin sensitivity. This means that your cells are better able to use available insulin to absorb sugar from the bloodstream to be used as energy for your body. Second, exercise stimulates another mechanism that allows your muscles to absorb and use sugar for energy, even without insulin. Not only does exercise lower blood sugar levels in the short term, but exercising over time also contributes to lower A1C levels over time. How important is exercise? Leading a sedentary (or inactive) lifestyle is one of the major risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes, and the high incidence of obesity and overweight among people with type 2 is also highly correlated with inactivity. Starting a workout program can lower body mass and consequently decrease the insulin resistance of type 2 diabetes; studies have shown that people with type 2 diabetes who exercise regularly have better A1c profiles than those who don’t. Along with medical nutrition therapy, exercise is one of the first lines of defense in type 2 diabetes control. In addition, exercise is a key tool in preventing one of the leading complications of type 2 diabetes—cardiovascular disease. Studies have shown that regular activity lowers triglyceride levels and blood pressure. How much exercise do you need? The American Diabetes Continue reading >>

Type 2 Diabetes And Exercise

Type 2 Diabetes And Exercise

When you have type 2 diabetes, physical activity is an important component of your treatment plan. It’s 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, you’ll 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 long-term complications, such as nerve pain and kidney disease. Exercise has so many benefits, but the biggest one is that it makes it easier to control your blood glucose (blood sugar) level. People with type 2 diabetes have too much glucose in their blood, either because their body doesn’t produce enough insulin to process it, or because their body doesn’t use insulin properly (insulin resistant). In either case, exercise can reduce the glucose in your blood. Muscles can use glucose without insulin when you’re exercising. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you’re insulin resistant or if you don’t have enough insulin: when you exercise, your muscles get the glucose they need, and in turn, your blood glucose level goes down. If you’re insulin resistant, exercise actually makes your insulin more effective. That is—your 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 susceptible to developing blocked arteries (arteriosclerosis), which can lead to a heart attack. Exercise helps keep your heart healthy and strong. Plus, exercise helps you maintain good cholesterol—and that helps you avoid arteriosclerosis. Additionally, there ar Continue reading >>

Exercise And Type 2 Diabetes

Exercise And Type 2 Diabetes

Go to: Introduction Diabetes has become a widespread epidemic, primarily because of the increasing prevalence and incidence of type 2 diabetes. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2007, almost 24 million Americans had diabetes, with one-quarter of those, or six million, undiagnosed (261). Currently, it is estimated that almost 60 million U.S. residents also have prediabetes, a condition in which blood glucose (BG) levels are above normal, thus greatly increasing their risk for type 2 diabetes (261). Lifetime risk estimates suggest that one in three Americans born in 2000 or later will develop diabetes, but in high-risk ethnic populations, closer to 50% may develop it (200). Type 2 diabetes is a significant cause of premature mortality and morbidity related to cardiovascular disease (CVD), blindness, kidney and nerve disease, and amputation (261). Although regular physical activity (PA) may prevent or delay diabetes and its complications (10,46,89,112,176,208,259,294), most people with type 2 diabetes are not active (193). In this article, the broader term “physical activity” (defined as “bodily movement produced by the contraction of skeletal muscle that substantially increases energy expenditure”) is used interchangeably with “exercise,” which is defined as “a subset of PA done with the intention of developing physical fitness (i.e., cardiovascular [CV], strength, and flexibility training).” The intent is to recognize that many types of physical movement may have a positive effect on physical fitness, morbidity, and mortality in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Diagnosis, classification, and etiology of diabetes Currently, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends the use of any of the following four criteria for di Continue reading >>

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