How Exercise Helps in Blood Sugar Control


A white bowl with chicken and vegetables.


The power of exercise is truly remarkable, known for its ability to revitalize both body and mind. As you embrace your ‘golden’ years, your health becomes more precious than ever, deserving careful attention and care.

You’re likely familiar with the many benefits of staying active: managing weight, strengthening muscles and bones, and combatting the stresses of daily life. But did you know that exercise can also significantly impact your blood sugar levels?

This blog post explores exercise’s vital role in regulating blood sugar, especially as you age.


How Exercise Impacts Your Blood Sugar Levels


When we engage in physical activity, our muscles use glucose as fuel to provide energy. This causes the body to become more sensitive to insulin, which helps regulate blood sugar levels.

Exercise can also help reduce insulin resistance, a common issue among individuals with diabetes or prediabetes. By increasing the body’s sensitivity to insulin, exercise allows cells to better utilize glucose from the bloodstream for energy production.

In addition, physical activity can lead to weight loss or maintenance, which are crucial factors in managing blood sugar levels. Excess weight can contribute to insulin resistance and difficulty regulating blood sugar.


Can Exercise Negatively Impact Your Blood Sugar Levels?


While exercise is generally beneficial for managing blood sugar levels, there are instances where it can potentially have a negative impact, particularly for individuals with certain health conditions or in specific situations:

  1. Hypoglycemia Risk: Intense or prolonged exercise without proper management can sometimes lead to low blood sugar levels (hypoglycemia) in individuals with diabetes. This can occur if medication dosages are not adjusted appropriately or if meals need to be timed properly before or after exercise.
  1. Overexertion: Excessive or strenuous physical activity without adequate preparation or monitoring can lead to physical stress, which may trigger the release of stress hormones that can increase blood sugar levels in some individuals.
  1. Insulin Sensitivity: In rare cases, intense exercise can cause increased insulin sensitivity, leading to a rapid drop in blood sugar levels during or after physical activity. This may occur in individuals with certain medical conditions or specific metabolic disorders.


How Can You Mitigate the Risks of Negative Impacts on Blood Sugar Levels During Exercise?


Mitigating the risks of negative impacts on blood sugar levels during exercise is essential, especially for individuals with diabetes. Here are some key strategies to help ensure that exercise remains safe and beneficial:

  1. Monitor Blood Sugar Levels: Use glucose monitoring devices to check your blood sugar levels before, during, and after exercise. Regular monitoring will help you understand how your body responds to different activities and adjust your management plan accordingly.
  1. Consult with a Healthcare Provider: Maintain open communication with your healthcare provider, particularly if you have diabetes. They can help you develop an exercise plan tailored to your health needs, and you may need to adjust medication dosages accordingly.
  1. Carry Quick-Acting Carbohydrates: Keep fast-acting carbohydrates on hand during exercise, such as glucose tablets, gels, or juice. If you experience low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), these can be used to raise your blood sugar levels quickly.
  1. Plan Your Meals: Time your meals and snacks appropriately, taking into account the type and duration of exercise. Consuming a balanced meal or snack before exercise can help prevent low blood sugar, while post-exercise nutrition can aid in recovery and blood sugar stability.
  1. Stay Hydrated: Proper hydration is essential. Dehydration can affect blood sugar levels. Drink water before, during, and after exercise to maintain a balanced state.
  1. Wear Identification: If you have diabetes, wear identification like a medical alert bracelet or carry a diabetes ID card. This can be crucial in case of an emergency, especially if you experience severe low blood sugar during exercise.
  1. Listen to Your Body: Pay attention to how you feel during exercise. If you experience dizziness, confusion, rapid heart rate, or other unusual symptoms, stop and take appropriate action. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits.
  1. Review and Adjust: Continuously assess your exercise routine and monitor its impact on your blood sugar levels. If you notice patterns or trends, consult your healthcare provider to adjust your management plan. 

Tips for Incorporating Exercise into Your Daily Routine


Incorporating exercise into your daily routine can be a game-changer for seniors looking to stay active and maintain their overall health.

But where do you start? 

Here are some tips to help you get moving in a way that works for you.

First, it’s important to find activities that you enjoy and that suit your fitness level. It could be as simple as taking a brisk walk around the neighborhood or joining a senior-friendly exercise class at your local community center. 

Another tip is to set realistic goals. Start small and gradually increase the intensity and duration of your workouts. 

Remember, it’s not about how much you do, but consistency is key. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise most days of the week.

Remember to take breaks when needed. If certain exercises cause discomfort or pain, modify them or try alternative activities that are gentler on your joints and muscles.

If motivation is an issue, consider finding an exercise buddy or joining a group class where you can socialize while getting fit. Having someone else to hold you accountable can make all the difference in sticking with an exercise routine.

Additionally, take into account the power of incorporating physical activity into everyday tasks. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, park further away from entrances, or get involved in household chores like gardening or cleaning – every little bit adds up!


The Importance of Using Glucose Monitoring Devices


Using glucose monitoring devices during exercise is crucial, especially for those with diabetes, for the following key reasons:

  1. Blood Sugar Regulation: Glucose monitoring devices enable you to keep track of your blood sugar levels in real-time during exercise. This helps you regulate your glucose levels effectively and make necessary adjustments to prevent hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) and hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).
  1. Optimized Performance: You can adjust your exercise intensity and duration by closely monitoring your blood sugar levels. This ensures that you can maintain an optimal performance level during physical activity without experiencing sudden spikes or drops in blood sugar.
  1. Safety and Well-being: Continuous monitoring during exercise promotes your safety and well-being. It allows you to take prompt action in case of any fluctuations, preventing potential health risks and ensuring a safe workout experience.
  1. Informed Decision-Making: Glucose monitoring devices provide valuable insights that help you to make informed decisions about your exercise routines, dietary choices, and overall diabetes management. This empowers you to create a well-rounded approach to their health and wellness.
  1. Enhanced Confidence: With glucose monitoring devices, you can exercise confidently, knowing that you have the necessary tools to monitor and manage your blood sugar levels effectively. This instills a sense of confidence and empowerment, enabling you to enjoy your workouts without unnecessary worry.


Affordable Diabetes Monitoring Devices Available at Medguard Medical Supply


Medguard Medical Supply offers Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) devices that give you insights into how your blood sugar responds to meals, exercise, and illness. 

These tools, namely the FreeStyle Libre 14 Day sensors and the FreeStyle Libre 2 system, allow you to take charge of diabetes and take charge of your life. Say goodbye to those uncomfortable finger pricks and the hassle of test strips.

Moreover, in most cases, private insurance covers the cost, with monthly expenses for the monitor ranging from $10 to $75. Medicare also offers coverage for the monitor.

Call us at 800-407-2491 to learn more about our affordable diabetes monitoring devices.



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