Exercise: Time, Consistency, and its Effect on Blood Sugar

20 Jul

I know there’s a lot of different schools of thought about what time of day is the best for exercise. Should I go for a morning run right after waking up or should I take that aerobics class after work? If you ask me, it’s whatever time of day I can actually get my butt moving and of the couch.

But, it’s really not that simple. Especially when you take your blood sugar levels into consideration. As this article in Health magazine explains “Exercise Causes Blood Sugar to Go Down — Most of the Time.” Of course, all of our bodies respond differently to exercise and we all know that we’re supposed to be exercising. In fact, this article says “exercise can even cause a drop in blood sugar for up to 12 to 24 hours). But, our blood sugar levels reaction to exercise is also very individualized.

RUN Hills Pullover in action!

RUN Hills Pullover in action! (Photo credit: lululemon athletica)

Surprisingly, the article explains that the time of day you exercise can also have an effect on your blood sugar and what is best for you might not be best for the next person (whether they have diabetes or not!). If you’re having trouble figuring out when your body reacts best to activity, add it to your list of questions to ask your doctor.  My doctor, for example, suggested that I might do well with exercising after a meal to help with any post-meal sugar spikes. By finding this ideal time for exercise (both physically and mentally ideal, hopefully!) and making it into a routine will help with consistency. For those of us with diabetes, the consistency has added benefits. It helps us keep our blood sugar levels at a good level, without lows or extreme highs that can be caused by random bouts of activity. To put it simply, your body begins to adjust to the activity level and even to expect it.

To me, what’s important about the consistency is that it provides a regular routine. Something you can hold yourself accountable to. I’m still trying to figure out what mine is– but I was really proud that I woke up early this morning to work out since I knew I wouldn’t be able to get my TurboFire in this evening. TurboFire is giving me a scheduled workout to fit into my day (with rest days scheduled out too), and now I need to figure out the best way to make it a routine that can last. Part of that, is finding my own “ideal” workout time of day.

What time of day do you like to exercise?

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