High blood sugar levels occur when your body can’t effectively transport sugar from the blood into cells. When left unchecked, this can lead to diabetes. So it is very much important to notice diabetes symptoms. Keep reading to know how to lower your blood sugar levels with exercise.
How does exercise lower blood sugar?
Regular exercise can help you to lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity. Augmented insulin sensitivity indicates that your cells are better able to use the available sugar in your bloodstream. Exercise helps your muscles to use blood sugar for energy and muscle contraction.
What exercises and how much one should do?
Good forms of exercise include strength training, brisk walking, running, cycling and swimming.
- Strength training
If you have diabetes, you know how important it is to control your blood sugar. Strength training helps. Simple moves done often can prompt your muscles to absorb more glucose. You will also burn more calories as you get stronger. It is recommended to do three to four days a week of strength training for the best results.
- Brisk walking
Walking at a brisk pace i.e., faster than 20 minutes per mile is linked with a 41% lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
When you run, the body uses two sources of fuel, sugar and free fatty acids to generate energy. During the first 15 minutes of running, most of the sugar for fuel comes from either the bloodstream or the muscle glycogen, which is converted back to sugar. After 15 minutes of running, the fuel starts to come more from the glycogen stored in the liver. After 30 minutes of running, the body begins to get more of its energy from the free fatty acids. As a result, running can deplete sugar levels and glycogen stores.
30 to 60 minutes of cycling per day is sufficient to take advantage of the anti-diabetes benefits of two wheels.
Swimming relaxes your muscles and doesn’t put pressure on your joints which is perfect if you’ve diabetes. To get the most benefit from swimming, it is recommended to swim at least three times a week for at least ten minutes and gradually increase the length of the workout.
Follow the mentioned self-help tips to stay safe while you exercise.
- Keep log
You should use an exercise log to track your exercise activities and your blood sugar levels before and after exercise.
- Drink plenty of water
Drinking water before, during, and after exercise is very much important for reducing your risk of dehydration associated with unpredictable blood sugars and heat stroke. Drinking water regularly re-hydrates the blood, lowers blood sugar levels and reduces diabetes risk.
- Warm-up and cool down
It is recommended to have a warm-up of 5 to 10 minutes of walking at a low-intensity level and gentle stretching for an additional 5 to 10 minutes. The cool-down should also last 5 to10 minutes until the heart rate has returned to pre-exercise levels.
- Breathe normally
When strength training, remember not to hold your breath as it can affect your blood pressure and cause you to feel lightheaded. See your homeopath for medical clearance before starting resistance or strength training.
- Start slow
If you are new to exercise, or if you have been inactive for a long time, start off by going easy on yourself, increasing tempo, distance, and time as you gradually build your stamina over time.
Make sure to check with your homeopath before making lifestyle changes or trying new supplements. This is mainly important if you have problems with blood sugar control. If you have problems with blood sugar control, you should book an appointment with your homeopath and seek diabetes treatment.