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Science behind exercise

When you do something quickly, like a sprint to catch the bus, your muscles and liver release glucose for fuel. When you exercise, your body needs extra energy from blood sugar to get energy. This uses up insulin, which regulates your blood sugar level.

There is no doubt that exercise offers incredible benefits to your body, both physically and mentally. But, have you ever considered how exercise can affect your blood sugar levels? Exercise plays a vital role in the regulation of blood sugar throughout the day.

Blood glucose, commonly known as blood sugar, is the amount of sugar in blood at any given time. When your blood has an increased level of glucose, the hormone insulin is secreted in response to this. For example, this secretion can occur after a meal containing carbohydrates. The insulin secreted sends a signal to tell cells to absorb the glucose from the bloodstream.

An immediate reduction in blood sugar levels to normal usually occurs in response to exercise. This sudden reduction in levels can be used as a means for daily regulation of blood glucose and its effect can be shown in a long-term improvement for diabetes.

Exercise causes an increase in insulin sensitivity and it is easier for your cells to use the insulin in blood to take up glucose during and after exercise. Muscle contraction during exercise stimulates a process that allows your cells to take up glucose and use it for energy, regardless of the presence of insulin.

If you currently suffer from diabetes or pre-diabetes, talk to your healthcare provider about how exercise can benefit your individual case and to develop a plan which fits in to your needs, in terms of duration and intensity. Whether your blood glucose levels are normal or you suffer from diabetes, exercise can no doubt help keep your insulin levels in check!