Physical Activity Lowers Blood Sugar After Meals
Have you ever stopped and wondered what the optimal timing was for your meals and workouts? There have been hundreds of studies done on this topic, and some people (whether or not they are diabetic) swear by eating and moving at different times of day for their best fit-selves.
If you have diabetes, you’re always fighting to keep your blood sugar under control.
To help with your efforts, we think it’s worth considering the timing of your workouts after meals. The best time to exercise post-eating varies from person to person. Studies have shown glucose levels hit their peak within 90 minutes of a meal. Those with Type 2 diabetes are supposed to keep levels at 160 mg/dl within two hours of a meal. Exercise reduces glucose concentrations, which means it’s a good idea to start exercising about 30 minutes after the beginning of your meal.
How can you tell if it’s a safe time to workout?
First, measure your blood sugar. If you start exercise with high blood sugar, it can be very dangerous. So you may need to wait a little bit before beginning your workout.
When you initiate exercise, your body releases stress hormones that can briefly raise your blood sugar. If your body doesn’t manage your blood sugar well, it can increase too much during the first half hour of exercise before it begins to lower! If your blood sugar level is between 150 and 180, you’re in a healthy range.
Now, you’re ready to get moving! What type of exercise should you do? It’s up to you! Even a mild physical activity, such as going on a 15 minute walk, can have profound impact on blood sugar levels for people with Type 1 diabetes. Studies have shown that those who engage in basic physical activity after eating have blood sugar levels close to those of people without the condition, while those who remained sedentary have elevated blood sugar levels.
The bottom line is, walking or participating in even a generally low-impact exercise after eating can have long-lasting benefits to your health!
Not only will it lower your blood sugar, but it can also improve digestion, heart health, increase weight loss, and help regulate blood pressure.
Want to know what other activities you can do post-eating? Here are some ideas!
- Dance Parties in the Kitchen
- Walking, Jogging, or Biking
Join our Community Challenge to stay on track with your health and fitness goals! We support you in all things health and can guide you through fun, safe workouts—after your meal, of course!