Can Exercising Lower Blood Sugar? Everything You Need to Know

Can Exercising Lower Blood Sugar? Everything You Need to Know

In the quest to manage blood sugar levels, particularly for those with diabetes or who are health-conscious, the link between physical activity and glucose control cannot be overstated. Exercise plays a crucial role, but how does it affect blood sugar, and what are the best practices?

This comprehensive guide dives deep into the physiological impacts of exercise on blood sugar and outlines actionable steps for integrating physical activity into your life for better health outcomes.

Does Exercise Lower Blood Sugar Levels?

According to the American Diabetes Association, exercise can have a direct impact on insulin sensitivity, which is the body's ability to respond to and use insulin.

Exercise can reduce your blood sugar level through several mechanisms:

  • It enhances insulin sensitivity, allowing your muscle cells to utilize any insulin present more effectively for glucose absorption during and after exercise.
  • Muscle contractions during physical activity enable cells to absorb and utilize glucose for energy, irrespective of insulin availability.

In other words, think of insulin as a key that unlocks the door for glucose to enter cells. Exercise helps make the lock on the door easier to open, allowing insulin to work more effectively and let glucose in (therefore contributing to low blood sugar levels). Additionally, exercise also acts as a backup plan by providing another way for glucose to enter cells without relying solely on insulin.

What Is Insulin Sensitivity?

Insulin sensitivity is a measure of how responsive your cells are to insulin. It describes the body's ability to use insulin efficiently, which is key for blood sugar control. Low insulin sensitivity (insulin resistance) is closely associated with high blood glucose levels and diabetes.

what causes insulin sensitivity

What Else Affects Insulin Sensitivity?

Apart from exercise, the following factors can affect insulin sensitivity:

  • Weight: Excess body weight, especially around the waistline, can reduce insulin sensitivity.
  • Diet: Consistently eating highly processed foods and foods high in simple sugars can lead to insulin resistance.
  • Physical activity level: A sedentary lifestyle and lack of exercise can contribute to lowered insulin sensitivity.
  • Genetics: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to insulin resistance.

How Much Exercise Is Enough?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week for adults. This can be broken down into 30 minutes of moderate exercise, five days a week. However, if you have been sedentary or are just starting an exercise routine, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before beginning any physical activity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also notes that those looking for more vigorous activities should aim for at least 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week. This can include activities such as running, cycling, or strength training.

Types of Exercises for Blood Sugar Control

Several types of exercises can help with blood sugar management:

  • Aerobic Exercises: Activities like walking, cycling, and swimming increase heart rate and breathing, promoting glucose consumption by muscle cells.
  • Resistance Training: Incorporating weight lifting or bodyweight exercises helps build muscle mass, which is beneficial because muscle tissue consumes more glucose. Increased muscle mass is also important for healthy aging. 
  • Flexibility and Balance Exercises: Though they have a more indirect effect, maintaining flexibility and balance supports overall mobility, making regular physical activity easier and safer.

Tips for Incorporating Exercise

While regular exercise has many benefits, it can be challenging to maintain a consistent routine. Here are some tips to help you incorporate exercise into your daily life:

  • Set realistic goals: Start small and gradually increase activity levels as you become more comfortable.
  • Find activities you enjoy: Whether it's a team sport, dance class, or simply walking in nature, find activities you look forward to and make exercise more enjoyable.
  • Make it a priority: Schedule time for exercise just as you would any other important task. Prioritizing your health will help you stay committed to regular physical activity.
  • Include friends or family: Having a workout buddy or joining a group exercise class can make exercising more fun and keep you accountable.
  • Mix it up: Don't be afraid to try new activities and switch up your routine to prevent boredom and keep things interesting.
precautions for exercising

Precautions for Exercising 

While exercise is generally beneficial for blood sugar control, it is important to take precautions if you have any health conditions. Here are some tips to help you exercise safely:

  • Monitor blood sugar levels: Check your blood sugar before, during, and after exercise to ensure it stays within a healthy range.
  • Carry fast-acting carbs: In case of hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), have a quick source of glucose readily available, such as juice or glucose tablets.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise to prevent dehydration.
  • Wear medical identification: In case of an emergency, wearing a medical ID bracelet or necklace can alert others of your condition and any necessary treatments.
  • Don't skip meals: Make sure to fuel your body with nutritious meals before and after exercising to prevent blood sugar fluctuations.
  • Consult with your healthcare provider: Always consult with your doctor before starting an exercise routine, especially if you have any existing health conditions or are taking medications that can affect blood sugar levels.

Introducing GOOD IDEA Drinks

GOOD IDEA is a line of functional sparkling water containing a carefully selected combination of five amino acids and chromium, which have been clinically shown to lower blood sugar levels after meals. These delicious drinks are also free from sugar and sweeteners, making them a healthy and convenient option for those looking to better manage their blood glucose levels.

In addition to incorporating regular exercise into your routine, including GOOD IDEA drinks can provide added support for healthy blood sugar control. With five lightly sparkling Swedish flavors to choose from, these refreshing drinks are a great option for staying hydrated and maintaining stable blood sugar levels after meals. So go ahead, make exercise and a GOOD IDEA drink parts of your daily routine!


Q: How often should I check my blood sugar when exercising?

A: It is recommended to check your blood sugar before, during (every 30 minutes to be exact), and after exercise to ensure it stays within a healthy range.

good idea drink

Q: Who can drink GOOD IDEA?

A: GOOD IDEA drinks can be enjoyed by anyone looking for a refreshing and sugar-free beverage option. They can also provide added benefits for those looking to manage their blood sugar levels.

Q: How can I tell if my blood sugar is too low while exercising?

A: Some common symptoms of hypoglycemia (low blood glucose) include dizziness, confusion, sweating, and weakness. It is important to monitor your blood sugar levels regularly, have a fast-acting source of glucose readily available in case of an episode, and consult with your physician.

Q: Is it normal to experience fluctuations in blood sugar levels during exercise?

A: Yes, it is common for blood sugar levels to fluctuate during exercise. It is important to monitor your levels and make any necessary adjustments, such as having a snack.


Exercise is a powerful tool for controlling blood sugar, with added benefits for overall health and well-being. By incorporating various types of physical activities into your routine, monitoring your body's responses, and utilizing aids like GOOD IDEA, you can take meaningful steps toward better glucose management.

Always consult with healthcare professionals before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have existing health concerns. Start small, stay consistent, and celebrate your progress along the way.