When managing type 2 diabetes, physical activity is one of the best things you can do for your body. If you don’t have an exercise routine just yet, there’s no better time than now to incorporate more movement into your day. It’s okay to start small –it’s about progress, not perfection! Here’s what you need to know about exercise and blood glucose.
Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar
According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), physical activity makes your body more sensitive to insulin and therefore can lower your blood sugar for up to 24 hours or more after you exercise.
If you have trouble lowering blood sugar, exercise is an excellent way to help keep your readings in range. Try incorporating short 10-minute walks after each meal.
If you regularly experience low blood sugars, make sure to exercise safely. Eat a balanced snack with a protein and a carbohydrate before a workout to help keep blood glucose levels in a safe range.
Exercise = Weight Loss
Today, the average American weighs 17 pounds more than their ideal healthy weight. For those with type 2 diabetes, losing just 5% of your total body weight can make managing your blood sugars much easier. Weight loss has also been linked to lower A1C levels.
Exercise, along with eating well, is a great way to work toward your weight loss goal. Your Wellsmith Care Team can adjust your target weight and help you focus on weight loss when you’re ready.
One of the body’s natural ways of eliminating excess blood sugar is through urine, so it’s important to stay hydrated. Physical activity, especially in the summer heat, can quickly dehydrate the body, and for those with type 2 diabetes could mean a dangerous spike in blood sugar.
Always make sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after a workout or extended period of time spent in the heat. Whether you’re doing yard work, washing the car, or even sitting in the sun by the pool, keep water nearby and watch out for signs of dehydration.
Physical activity can help you reduce blood sugar and lose a few pounds in the short-term. But the long-term benefits of regular exercise are even greater. A few minutes of exercise, done consistently over time, can reduce your A1C level in the long term and help prevent more serious complications down the road.
Ready to get started? Click here for a beginner’s guide to exercise or send a message to your Health Coach for more physical activity tips!