Diabetes-Friendly Tips to Fuel Your Fitness Regimen – Part 1
Don’t let the stress of managing your blood sugar levels stop you from engaging in your favorite physical activity or trying new ways to be active. With a little organization, you can reap both the physical and mental benefits of exercise without a hitch! Daily exercise is recommended to enhance your body’s insulin action and improve type 2 diabetes management.1,2 Check out these diabetes-friendly tips to fuel your fitness regimen and get snack ideas for fueling up before or refueling after exercise.
Check your blood sugar before exercise!
First things first, to effectively track blood sugar fluctuations, check your blood sugar levels 15 to 30 minutes before initiating exercise. This is an easy way to prevent sugar levels from falling too low during a workout. But the monitoring effort shouldn’t stop there. Have another check right after your exercise and a few hours after a workout, since the body may utilize sugar stores from the muscle and liver, causing a significant drop. More intense exercise can raise it due to adrenaline. Read more on physical activity and blood glucose to gain insights if you need to take in carbohydrates before, during, or after a workout.1,2
Optimize your meal timing to fuel your fitness regimen
If you’re exercising less than an hour and not intensively, chances are you won’t need a snack. If you’re watching your weight, you may want to skip out on unnecessary calories. However, if you’re working out harder and longer, you may need to fuel up. Based on your pre-exercise blood sugar value, a snack may be necessary to ensure you feel your best from start to finish. This is why monitoring before, during, and after can help you identify trends. If you find your blood glucose drops in the middle of spin class, having a pre-workout snack will be essential. If your pre-spin blood sugar is high, you likely don’t need a snack but should check your levels right after. You may be good until your next meal. Monitoring is crucial, so you can enjoy all of your favorite activities stress-free while increasing your fitness level and tapping into the numerous immediate and life-long benefits of moving more! You may discover a spin class, hiking trail, pilates ritual, or circuit class with new enthusiasm and less worry!
Know your pre-workout blood glucose levels
|Pre-Exercise Blood Glucose||Carbohydrate Intake or Other Action|
|<90 mg/dL (<5.0 mmol/L)|
|90–150 mg/dL (5.0–8.3 mmol/L)|
|150–250 mg/dL (8.3–13.9 mmol/L)|
|250–350 mg/dL (13.9–19.4 mmol/L)|
|350 mg/dL (19.4 mmol/L)|
Taken exactly from: “Physical Activity/Exercise and Diabetes: A Position Statement of the American Diabetes Association.”1
How long have you been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes?