Reviewed by William Blahd on December 06, 2016


Pixeldust Studios<br>New York Times: "Exercise 'Snacks' to Control Blood Sugar.",American Diabetes Association: "Blood Glucose Control and Exercise.", Joslin Diabetes Center: "Why Is My Blood Glucose Sometimes Low after Physical Activity?", Diabetes Forecast: "The Science of Exercise.", Cleveland Clinic: "Diabetes and Physical Exercise," "Nutrition for Athletes with Diabetes.", National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: "Diabetes and Physical Activity."

© 2017 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

WebMD Archive

Video Transcript

If you have diabetes, you know how tricky it can be to manage your blood sugar levels.

That's because diabetes affects the body's ability to make and use the hormone insulin, which is critical for turning sugar from our food into glucose to fuel our cells.

When blood sugar levels get too high, they can damage blood vessels ... and increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney disease and vision problems.

Diet and medication can help, but did you know that exercise is one of the best ways to lower your blood sugar?

Here's how: During physical activity, your muscles use up their supply of glucose. To get more energy, your muscles can get the extra glucose they need from sugar in your bloodstream while you're exercising... without needing to use any insulin.

The result? Moderate to intense exercise can lower your blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours.

If you're out of shape, be sure to talk to your doctor about an exercise program before you begin one. Start slow with small steps...and in no time, regular exercise can make a big difference!