Does Working Out Lower Blood Sugar?

If you’re like most people with diabetes, you’re always looking for ways to improve your blood sugar numbers. And one of the things you may have heard is that exercise can help lower blood sugar. But does it really work?


Exercise is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and can play an important role in improving blood sugar levels. Research shows that physical activity can help lower blood sugar levels by increasing glucose uptake into the muscles and helping to burn off excess energy. In this article, we will explore why regular exercise can be beneficial for blood sugar control, what type of activity is best, and how you can get the most out of your routine.

Definition of Blood Sugar

Blood sugar, which is also commonly referred to as glucose, is the fuel of the body’s cells, organs and tissues. It is produced in the liver and broken down from carbohydrates (sugars) found in various food sources. Blood sugar levels are regulated by hormones such as insulin and glucagon. Hyperglycemia, or high blood sugar, occurs when blood sugar levels exceed a normal range, leading to an increased risk of serious health conditions including diabetes, heart disease and stroke. On the other hand, hypoglycemia refers to low blood sugar levels that can cause fatigue, confusion and even loss of consciousness.

It is important for individuals to understand how their bodies respond to physical activity when it comes to managing their blood sugar levels. Healthy lifestyle choices such as exercising regularly can lower risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes, but exercise can have both positive and negative effects on an individual’s blood glucose level depending on the amount of intensity and duration of physical activity. To better understand how these factors play a part in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels it helps to understand what types of activities affect your body most when it comes to exercise and glucose regulation.

Overview of the Benefits of Exercise

Exercise is essential for our overall health, and it can have a positive impact on our blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity helps to improve insulin sensitivity, which means your cells become better at using glucose from the bloodstream to produce energy. It can also reduce the amount of circulating glucose in the blood, and improve metabolic balance.

The recommended minimum amount of exercise for a person with diabetes is 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week spread out over at least 3 days – however, more than 30 minutes a day has even greater benefits. Examples of moderate intensity activities include walking briskly, dancing and gardening around the house. Exercise such as running or playing sports is higher intensity and should be done over shorter periods with breaks in between to keep an adequate level of exertion throughout each session.

In addition to helping lower blood sugar levels, physical activity has other health benefits such as reducing stress levels and helping maintain a healthy weight. Exercise also gives us more energy and an improved ability to handle stress making it easier for us to make better food choices leading to further improvements in our overall health. So if you’re looking for ways to help balance your blood sugar levels – working out could be just what you need!

What is the Impact of Exercise on Blood Sugar?

A healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise is essential for managing your blood sugar levels. Studies have indicated that exercise can help lower your blood sugar levels and improve your overall health. In this section, we will explore the impact of exercise on blood sugar and discuss how physical activity can help.

How Exercise Lowers Blood Sugar

Exercise is a vital component of any wellness routine for people with diabetes and those with elevated risk. It can help manage weight, improve overall health, boost energy levels, and lower blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are reduced due to exercise, the body experiences a range of related benefits such as improved circulation and better kidney functioning. Understanding how exercise reduces blood sugar is key to successfully managing diabetes or pre-diabetes conditions.

When engaging in physical activity, the body’s muscles need glucose (sugar) for fuel. During exercise, stored glucose is converted into energy more efficiently than when the body is at rest. This conversion of stored glucose results in lower glucose levels in the bloodstream and improved insulin sensitivity over time. This reduction of blood sugar helps reduce symptoms like fatigue and thirst that are associated with high blood sugar levels.

The type of physical activity also affects how quickly blood sugar drops — aerobic exercises like running, jogging, cycling or brisk walking have the most beneficial impact on reducing blood sugar for periods up to twenty minutes after exercises stops due to an increase in circulation and better utilization of oxygen by cells throughout the body. Combining short bursts of high intensity interval training (HIIT) with longer endurance-based activities will yield greater gains in regulating your insulin levels over time and achieving blood sugar level goals through exercise .

Alongside aerobic exercises that can directly reduce blood sugar , strength/resistance training has been shown to have additional benefits for people living with diabetes — muscle tissue utilizes larger quantities of glucose than other types of tissue leading muscle building exercises act as an incredible tool aid in balancing out areas where there’s too much glucose concentration around organs throughout the body due to hormonal discrepancies or night snacking habits. Properly performed resistance training should energize your workout routine and make it easier maintain healthy glucose levels while gaining strength safely when done properly depending upon individual needs..

How Exercise Increases Insulin Sensitivity

Physical activity has been shown to increase insulin sensitivity, which means that the body’s cells are better able to use the hormone insulin to convert glucose into energy. Insulin is a hormone that helps cells absorb and store glucose, which comes from carbohydrates in the diet. When an individual’s body has difficulty using insulin properly, they may be diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes. Increasing physical activity through moderate to vigorous exercise can help increase an individual’s insulin sensitivity and decrease their risk of developing diabetes.

Exercise also helps regulate blood sugar levels by increasing the muscle cells’ ability to take up excess glucose from the bloodstream when blood sugar is higher than normal. To do this, muscles resort to a process called glycogenolysis: enzymes within the muscles break down stored glycogen into glucose molecules, which are then used for fuel during exercise and release any remaining surplus into the bloodstream where it can be absorbed to lower high blood sugar levels. Additionally, studies have shown that having adequate muscle strength and endurance can also reduce instances of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar).

Types of Exercise That Lower Blood Sugar

Exercise has long been known as one of the best ways to lower your blood sugar levels. A regular exercise routine can help lower your fasting and post-meal glucose levels. There are many different types of exercise that can help you stay healthy and help to manage your blood sugar levels. In this article, we will discuss the types of exercise that are best for lowering blood sugar.

Aerobic Exercise

Aerobic exercise, also referred to as cardio or endurance exercise, is any type of physical activity that increases your heart rate. Examples of aerobic activities include brisk walking, jogging, biking and swimming. When done regularly and for at least thirty minutes, these exercises can help lower your blood sugar levels. In addition to aiding in weight loss and improving overall health, aerobic exercises such as sweating stimulate the cells in your muscles to take up more glucose from the bloodstream; this helps to lower the amount of glucose in your bloodstream. For those with Type 2 diabetes, regular aerobic exercise can help maintain blood sugar levels over a long period of time. Additionally, exercising on a regular basis can improve insulin sensitivity and reduce insulin resistance by helping cells in the muscle absorb glucose from the bloodstream more efficiently.

Resistance Training

Resistance training, also called strength-training or weight-training, helps build muscle mass and strength. Working out with weights, or even just resistance bands, can help burn calories and improve insulin sensitivity. Resistance training has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels by increasing lean muscle mass and reducing body fat. Examples of resistance exercises include weight lifting (with free weights or machines), aquatic exercises, Pilates, yoga, calisthenics (bodyweight exercises such as push-ups and sit-ups), plyometrics (explosive exercises such as jumping and aerobics), and sports (such as tennis). When starting an exercise program of resistance training it is important to start slow and build up gradually. Make sure to begin with a warmup period before your workout session to get the muscles warmed up prior to movement – this can help reduce injury risk.

Tips for Working Out to Lower Blood Sugar

Exercise has many benefits for people with diabetes, including helping to lower blood sugar. Working out can reduce your risk for other health conditions, manage weight, and improve your quality of life. However, there are certain tips and strategies you should know if you want to get the most out of your workouts. In this article, we will cover the key tips for working out to lower blood sugar.

Monitor Blood Sugar Levels

It is important to monitor your blood sugar levels if you are doing regular exercise to make sure that they do not drop too low. It is recommended to measure your blood sugar levels before and after each workout, as well as intermittently during long or intense workouts. This will help you gauge how different activities affect your blood glucose levels and allow you to adjust accordingly. Also, if your glucose levels fall below a certain value prior to or during a workout, it may be best not to exercise at that time as it could make matters worse. Make sure to talk to your doctor so they can help you develop an exercise plan tailored specifically for your needs.

Choose the Right Exercise Intensity

When you are looking to lower your blood sugar levels, safety should be your top priority. Moderate exercise intensity is best for individuals with type 2 diabetes, and gradually increasing intensity is recommended as you become more fit. The American Diabetes Association recommends an exercise regimen of 30 minutes, five days a week. As long as your doctor approves, try to limit sedentary time to no more than 60 minutes at a stretch on most days of the week.

To select the right exercise intensity to safely lower your blood sugar levels, consider how it feels when you work out:

-Light: A light workout should feel gentle and easy – almost like you’re barely working out at all. During a light workout, you should be able to talk with ease while exercising, which is known as the “talk test.”
-Moderate: Moderate intensity means that although you are exerting yourself more than with a light workout, you still have enough energy left over so that speaking full sentences is possible.
-Vigorous: When exerting vigorous effort during a workout session, it should become difficult to continue speaking in full sentences and pauses for breath will be necessary when talking. Letting your heart rate reach 80–85 percent of its maximum rate is suggested if doubling up on moderate intensity workouts doesn’t seem like enough.

It’s important to remember that both proper form and correct stride length are essential components while selecting the right exercise intensity – overexertion could cause injury and dehydration could put strain on your body’s ability to keep blood sugar at healthy levels. To ensure that proper form and stride length lead weight management success speak with a certified trainer about designing an individualized workout plan – overseeing every step of the way!

Consider the Glycemic Index

When you’re trying to lower your blood sugar, it may be helpful to consider the glycemic index of foods. The glycemic index (GI) ranks foods according to how quickly and how much they raise a person’s blood sugar levels after being consumed. Foods with a high GI rating should generally be avoided or eaten in moderation when trying to reduce blood sugar numbers. Some examples of high GI foods include white bread, white rice and potatoes. Additionally, exercise can be used to help lower blood sugar numbers as well as keep them down over time. Doing regular physical activity helps the body use insulin more efficiently and process glucose for energy more quickly.

The type of exercise needed depends on individual goals and overall health condition; different exercises offer different health benefits. Aerobic activities such as walking, running, swimming, biking and skip rope are great for burning body fat and raising energy levels; they also tend to burn glucose quicker than other types of exercise like strength training or flexibility exercises such as stretching or yoga. However, anaerobic activities like weight lifting or high-intensity interval training (HIIT) promote muscle growth which can also reduce inflammation that often comes with diabetes-related complications such as high blood pressure or heart disease by regulating fat levels within the body’s cells. It is important to consult a healthcare professional before engaging in any type of workout routine in order to determine an appropriate level of intensity for an individual’s level of activity and overall fitness goals.


The scientific evidence and reviews suggest that exercise can have a positive impact on blood sugar and help to reduce the risk for diabetes. However, as is often the case with health-related questions, the answer is complicated and depends on a variety of factors. In some cases, an exercise program may not be enough to control blood sugar levels or address weight-related issues, so a comprehensive treatment plan that includes medicine and healthy dietary changes is crucial. If you have been diagnosed with prediabetes or diabetes, it’s important to work with your healthcare team to develop an appropriate exercise plan and treatment regimen that works for you.

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