How does exercise affect blood sugar levels?
The effect of physical activity on blood glucose levels will vary between individuals and will also depend on the exercise type. Checking your blood glucose levels while exercising will allow you to gain a better understanding of how each activity can affect them.
Before exercise, your blood sugar levels should ideally be above 7mmol/l; if they are not, you may need to consider eating some additional carbohydrate. Good post-workout snacks include malt loaf, bananas and yoghurt. However, the type and amount of food required will depend on exercise duration and intensity, how hungry you are, when you last ate and what is going on with your blood glucose levels at the time.
It is essential to always have your hypo treatment on hand along with your medical ID. If you are exercising by yourself, make sure that someone is aware of where you are and your estimated time of arrival back. If it is a group exercise, then be sure that they can recognise the signs of a hypo and know how to treat it. For information on this, please contact your local diabetes team.
If your blood glucose levels are above 13mmol/l then physical exercise may actually increase those levels further. If this does occur, you may need to consider an insulin correction dose, but only after you have spoken to your local diabetes team on how to do this.
The convenience of walking
With modern life becoming more and more hectic, it is becoming increasingly difficult to fit the recommended amount of physical activity into each day. Walking provides an easy and convenient alternative way to introduce exercise into your routine. Additionally, findings from several studies have shown that a 30-minute walk post-meal can significantly decrease postprandial glucose spikes.
By making the following simple changes to your lifestyle, you can easily increase the amount of walking you do:
Benefits of walking
Look after you feet
Whilst safety isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when walking is considered, for someone living with diabetes, certain things are worth bearing in mind before hitting the streets. People with diabetes should regularly check their feet for any noticeable changes. Post-walk checks should be habitual in case of possible damage like cuts or blisters.
If you have a history of foot problems then please contact your local diabetes team prior to becoming a serious walker. As a rule of thumb, always make sure that you are wearing suitable footwear and that your socks do not rub.
Keep it up!
If you do decide that walking, or exercise in general, is a good hobby for you then we highly recommend sticking to it! Hopefully you can make time to pound the pavements and use walking as an effective tool in helping manage your blood glucose levels.
Whilst we endeavour to offer some sage advice, we here at GlucoMen understand that everyone is an individual and what may affect one person in one way, will affect someone else in a completely different way. From managing your medication, checking your feet, or simply knowing what the best foods to consume are, it is always best to contact your healthcare professional for definitive answers.
Berkshire website design company