If you have not been physically active recently, you should speak to your doctor before starting any exercise program and ask if they have any advice about the types of activities you plan on trying. Also, make sure to measure your blood glucose level before starting your work out (15-30 mins before). This is especially important if you take insulin or other diabetes medications that make you prone to hypos.
Make sure to remember the following exercise guidelines for blood glucose management if you are a person living with diabetes.
If your blood glucose level is
- lower than 100 mg/dL (5.6 mmol/L), then it is too low to start exercising. Eating a small snack can help bring it to normal.
- 100 to 250 mg/dL (5.6 to 13.9 mmol/L), then you can start exercising safely.
- 250 mg/dL (13.9 mmol/L) or higher, then it is too high to start exercising and you may need to adjust your medication.
Low blood sugar levels can be a concern for some people during exercise. Remember to measure your blood glucose level after every 30 minutes of physical exercise completed.
Make sure to stop if your blood glucose is 70 mg/dL (3.9 mmol/L) or lower or if you feel symptoms of hypoglycemia such as dizziness or shakiness.
Exercise uses stored glucose in muscle and liver cells and after exercise is complete, the next few hours involve the body rebuilding these glucose reserves using glucose from the blood. Because of this, it is very important to check your blood glucose level as soon as you finish exercising.
Keep checking it again a couple of times during the following few hours to avoid a drop in your glucose levels. ⠀
Remember that the effect of exercise on blood glucose levels can be seen for several hours after the exercise. The stronger your exercise, the longer the effect! ⠀
Also eat a snack with slow-acting carbohydrates like granola right after your exercise to avoid dangerous low blood sugars.
If you might be having a drop in blood glucose, grab something with fast acting sugar. A juice box is often our go-to.
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