Glucose Levels After Exercise: What to Expect and Why

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It doesn’t take a fitness expert to know that exercise favorably impacts blood glucose levels. The medical community has long advocated daily physical activity and exercise in light of the alarming rate at which people are being diagnosed with diabetes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association states that 23.6 million adults and children–roughly 8 percent of the population–suffered from diabetes in 2007.

The fact of the matter is that glucose levels after exercise are lower than they normally would be otherwise, and this is true for type 1 and type 2 diabetics as well as healthy people.

Move your Body

Normally, insulin is secreted by the pancreas into the bloodstream, and its job is to bond with blood glucose to provide the body with energy. When you exercise, your body consumes up to 20 times more glucose than it normally would in order allow you to perform the type of activity you are doing. This creates a blood sugar deficit, and this is what causes lowered glucose levels after exercise.

Duke University Medical Center researchers have shown that the benefits of long-term, intense exercise caused improved glucose levels. They also concluded that these effects were present for up to a month after the exercise programs of the participants in this study were over. This counters previous studies that have shown that glucose levels after exercise were maintained at a lower level for only up to 24 hours. Some hypothesize that the loss of abdominal fat during the exercise is what lowered glucose levels for weeks after its cessation in the participants. Abdominal fat is believed to be directly related to the risk of developing diabetes.

With All This Talking, What Has Been Said?

You can lower glucose levels after exercise in a variety of ways. Don’t be fooled into thinking you have to do something strenuous to achieve the benefits of lowered blood sugar. Any amount of physical activity you do can help you improve your blood sugar levels. However, consistence is the key here. Consistently exercising over the course of time will lower your blood sugar levels more dramatically than an occasional bout of exercise. Exercise makes your body sensitive to insulin, allowing your body to use less insulin to store more carbohydrates and lower your blood sugar. Moderate exercise, for at least 30 minutes a day, five days per week, is what the American College of Sports Medicine recommends.

Remember that exercise isn’t the only way to lower blood sugar. There are a variety of ways you can go about doing this. If you want to know how, read another article written by me in order to find out how to lower blood sugar.