Exercise - When is best?

I’m trying to exercise at least a little after every meal to burn off any extra glucose instead of storing it. It’s not possible to get to the gym all the time, of course, so mostly what I’ve been doing is walking, free weights, leg lifts or any kind of movement, usually right after eating, or within 15-30 minutes.

It seems to help … for example, last night I ate pasta, spinach and cheese, then pretty much didn’t sit down for the next 45 minutes. When I did my one-hour glucose check, it was 72. Then when I did sit down and checked again after 2 hours, it was up to 90. (It’s normally in the 90-100 range during the day).

BUT … it was WAY up to 116 when I woke up this morning! So, am I testing too soon? Exercising too soon? Does anyone have any experience with ‘using’ exercise as a blood sugar-lowering ‘medicine’? I’d love to hear from anyone who has done this successfully.

Type 1 or Type 2?

If you consider 116 to be ‘way up’ you are working on very, very tight control. 116 is only a ‘little high’ for me.

Anyway, I use exercise to help keep my BG down, but I don’t consider it a substitute of my insulin. It’s probably not a good idea to use it as a substitute for medication, either. Both John Walsh in his book “Pumping Insulin” and Sheri Colberg in “The Diabetic Athlete” (both available through TuDiabetes) discuss the affects of exercise on bg in detail. Get one or the other.

I don’t think immediately exercising after eating will always be effective. The food you eat keeps converting to glucose for a few hours after you eat. Some is faster, some is slower. High fat content in a meal will affect the rate of glucose conversion. That may be why your BG continued going up two hours after your meal.

So you may be better off waiting an hour or so after you eat before exercising to bring down your BG. Moderate your exertion based on what you consumed.

As always, YMMV. It’s more experimenting, trial and error and timing.