Intense, short bouts of exercise before meals?

Does anyone use short burst of intense exercise before meals to help blood sugar control? If yes, what do you do?

As an insulin user, I find that exercise is a great way to get a recent injection of fast-acting to “kick in”. And often this works best to my advantage if it’s right before a meal.

I’ll sometimes do one after eating, either exercise bike or treadmill. But even a brisk walk for 20 minutes helps!

I exercise before meals and then pre-bolus short-acting Humalog as needed 26 minutes before meal (during exercise) as that is how long it takes my insulin to kick in but rarely exercise after a meal as that supercharges my short-acting insulin and inevitably drives me into hypoglycemia. The only exception is if I have sinned at an event eating more carbohydrates than planned or mistakingly taken too little insulin for a meal, then I will intensely exercise after the meal to drive my blood glucose down rapidly.

1 Like

I am a multi daily injections type 2 DM who has used exercise as a mainstay of my BG management. Before I started MDI I would sometimes do an hour of exercise while fasting. Since starting MDI I find it better to do basal and bolus insulin, eat my regular breakfast and hit the road (cycling).

On longish rides around 2 to 3 hours I will decrease the basal 3 to 4 units, eat my regular breakfast and about one hour later eat a Kind Nut Bar just before rolling out. That seems to keep my BG well in range, not high and not low.

But, you can’t just do what any of us do exactly. The experience of others is a good place to start, but we are all just a bit unique. Use your meter to learn what works best for you, experiment.

BTW if in the evening after dinner if my BG hovers a bit high, I often do a very gently 40 to 60 minutes spinning while watching TV. This often brings BG down where it belongs.

When I do high intensity workouts my BG often rises, whether weights or hard intervals on the bike.

1 Like

I was wondering about the benefits of exercise before eating because I know that exercise after eating can drop my bg fast ( I control my bg through diet and exercise alone). I have heard that quick changes in bg are harmful, and so I was thinking that pre meal exercise might be healthier. Also, evolutionarily speaking, which here is just guesswork, our ancestors- at least the males- did short/intense bursts of activity on the hunt. After the hunt, they ate and relaxed. This is another reason I was thinking that pre meal HIT exercise might be better. I will experiment to see how it goes.

1 Like

That’s the ticket, find what works for you. Just a word to the wise, be constantly vigilant, because things change as we age, stress and our physical routines.

1 Like

I actually enjoy post meal walking to reduce blood sugar. It has worked for me for several years.


I take a 1 mike brisk walk before lunch. And a 2 mile walk after dinner.
I can work it both ways, but I need far less insulin when I walk compared to when I don’t.

The walk before a meal extends through the meal and after.
It really is the best tool I have