Exercise and Type 2 Diabetes

Photo Credit: Mr. Hyde PD
It is important to exercise if you have type 2 diabetes. Exercise can help control your weight and improve blood sugar control. It is critical, however, that you monitor your blood pressure and take precautions to avoid a rapid drop in or rise in blood sugar before, during and after exercise. Exercise with a friend who knows that you are a diabetic and knows what to do if you do experience a rapid increase or decrease in your blood sugar. Always wear a medical alert bracelet to alert others to your condition should you become unconscious. Most importantly, see your doctor for advice about exercise and talk about how or if you should adjust your diet or medication to prevent a sugar reaction. 

Keep a log of your blood sugar to help you understand how your body reacts to exercise. Check your blood sugar about 30 minutes before exercise and write it down in a small notebook. Log what you’ve had to eat throughout the day and before exercise, too. Test your blood sugar again just before you start to exercise and write it down. The second test will reveal whether your blood sugar is rising, falling or stable. Follow your doctor’s advice about stabilizing your blood sugar before exercising. Check your blood sugar again after exercise and write it down in your notebook. Exercise stimulates your muscles and liver to release stored sugar for energy. After exercise, your body will remove sugar from your blood to replace the stored sugar used during exercise. The more vigorous your exercise routine, the more sugar your body will use for energy. This means that your blood sugar levels will drop after exercise up to several hours later. You may need to eat a high-carbohydrate snack, such as fruit juice, some crackers or raw fruits.

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