The Relationship Between Exercise and Blood Sugar Levels
People with chronically high blood sugar have probably resigned themselves to being on a complicated regimen of drugs for the rest of their lives.
However, that may not necessarily need to be the case.
It’s possible with regular exercise to lower your blood sugar and reduce your dependence on costly blood sugar reducing drugs.
In this article, you are going to find out exactly why exercise is such an effective way to help those who suffer from blood sugar related issues (with the most notable example being type 2 diabetes).
The Mechanics Behind High Blood Sugar
Anyone with diabetes has probably heard from their doctor how high blood sugar works, but for the benefits of those who maybe don’t fully understand how blood sugar works, let’s briefly explain it.
See, when you eat food, it releases glucose into your bloodstream.
Now, this glucose is vital for your body because it acts as an energy source that is delivered directly to your body’s cells.
In order to absorb the glucose from the bloodstream, the body uses a hormone called insulin.
People who have diabetes (either type 1 or type 2) have trouble producing enough insulin to properly absorb the glucose.
Because the glucose isn’t absorbed, it stays in the blood, which causes high blood sugar.
How Does Exercise Help You Control Your Blood Sugar Levels?
Now that everyone is on the same page with regards to how blood sugar works, you may be curious as to how exercise can help those suffering from increased blood sugar levels.
Well, the actual science behind it is rather simple.
See, when you exercise, your body’s muscles use a lot more energy and the insulin in your body begins to work more effectively.
These two factors combined lead to your muscles absorbing a lot more glucose than they normally would.
Being Cautious When Exercising
While exercise does help keep your blood sugar levels in check, you need to be careful.
When you exercise for more than 15-20 minutes at a time, your blood sugar levels will begin falling rapidly. So, you need to be careful that they don’t fall too low.
The recommended procedure when exercising is to take regular breaks and measure your blood glucose levels.
If they’re getting too low, stop and take a spoonful of honey, sugar, or some glucose pills, and then resume exercising once your blood sugar levels are back up to an acceptable level.
How Long Should a Good Workout at the Gym Last?
Heading to the gym? You’re not alone.
Every day, thousands of people head out to hit up the weights or run out some cardio. But, are you optimizing your workout routine to get the best results?
When it comes to figuring out how long you should be working out at the gym, the question really comes down to two things: your current level and your goals.
If you are already in good health and you want to push things even farther, you’ll be able to commit more time at the gym than someone in poor shape who is trying to shed some extra pounds before setting more challenging goals for themselves.
Once you have figured out how good of health you are in and just how long you can go at a comfortable pace before you feel yourself getting winded, the next step is to figure out whether you want to up the difficulty level (i.e., moving faster, lifting more) and/or the length of time you’ll be doing the activity (your endurance and stamina).
Which of these things you choose to increase will depend on your health goals.
For instance, if you can run at a 4.8 mph pace on the treadmill for 30 minutes before you start to get tired, you can choose to either increase your speed for a more difficult workout or increase how long you are running for.
If you want to build endurance for a marathon, the latter would be the better choice.
But, if you’re trying to build speed to win a race, the former would be the ideal way to optimize your workout.
In reality, there is no set number that you should be trying to aim for when determining how long you should work out at the gym each day.
However, there is some scientific input that can help you when making your final decision.
Many studies seem to support the notion that, after 30 minutes, your workout session may begin to have a negative impact on muscle growth.
While 30 minutes is considered ideal for building new muscle, going for longer may actually deplete your muscles.
This all has to do with your body and where it gets its energy from to fuel your workout.
The right routine of pre and post workout meals can help offset the effects of a long workout in the event you need to go for longer.