As part 2 of our Exercise & Health series, we are sharing another great article by the staff of the Mayo Clinic. Like high blood pressure, people with diabetes know that exercise will help. This article does a fantastic job at explaining exercise and monitoring your blood sugar levels. It also covers:
- Before exercise: Check your blood sugar before your workout
- During exercise: Watch for symptoms of low blood sugar
- After exercise: Check your blood sugar again
Diabetes and exercise: When to monitor your blood sugar by Mayo Clinic Staff
Exercise is an important part of any diabetes treatment plan. To avoid potential problems, check your blood sugar before, during and after exercise.
Exercise is a crucial component of diabetes management. Exercise can help you:
- Improve your blood sugar levels.
- Boost your overall fitness.
- Manage your weight.
- Reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Improve your well-being.
But diabetes and exercise pose unique challenges, too. To exercise safely, you’ll need to track your blood sugar before, during and after physical activity. This will show you how your body responds to exercise, which can help you prevent potentially dangerous blood sugar fluctuations.
Before exercise: Check your blood sugar before your workout
Before jumping into a fitness program, get your doctor’s OK to exercise — especially if you’ve been inactive. Ask your doctor how activities you’re contemplating might affect your blood sugar. Your doctor can also suggest the best time to exercise and explain the potential impact of medications on your blood sugar as you become more active.
For the best health benefits, experts recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderately intense physical activities such as:
- Fast walking
- Lap swimming
If you’re taking insulin or other medications that can cause low blood sugar (hypoglycemia), test your blood sugar 15 to 30 minutes before exercising.
If you don’t take medications for your diabetes or you don’t use medications commonly linked to low blood sugar levels, you probably won’t need to take any special precautions prior to exercising. Check with your doctor.