Diabetes and Exercise

If you have diabetes and are on insulin or taking pills to squeeze out more insulin from your pancreas, you may be afraid to exercise. Exercise will cause your blood sugar to drop. It can be scary and downright dangerous. You should still exercise, but with close monitoring of your blood sugar levels.

First thing to do is to check your blood sugar BEFORE you work out. This will give you a baseline to start out with. If your blood sugar is high, your exercise will lower it and you may be able to skip taking medication until your next meal. If your blood sugar is low, you’ll need to eat some fruit or drink some juice before you even start your workout. You’ll also need extra juice during your workout.

Each person burns a different amount of carbs, even if they are doing the same exercise with the same intensity. A person who rarely exercises, may have their blood sugar plummet with a walk, while someone else who exercises regularly, will have their blood sugar just dip a little bit on that same walk.

For instance, I will burn 30 grams of carbs for each hour of cardio. If I do an easy yoga class, I may only burn 7-10 grams of carbs. The level of difficulty is the key.

Regardless of whether or not you are a diabetic, take note of how you feel during your workouts. Even those with a fully-functioning pancreas will need carbs during a workout to keep from crashing.

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