Excess sugar in the body for a prolonged time can lead to detrimental health issues if left untreated. Hyperglycemia can damage blood vessels that transport blood to critical organs, increasing the risk of kidney disease, stroke, heart disease, nerve problems, and vision problems. Therefore, maintaining recommended blood sugar levels is crucial to leading a healthy life. Keeping the blood sugar within the recommended levels can be quite challenging because various factors contribute to the changes. However, an understanding of what causes the fluctuations and learning how to control these factors helps. A better understanding of factors that influence the blood sugar level is key to anticipating changes and making plans accordingly. Exercising regularly and healthy eating helps to lower blood sugar levels.
Exercising to Lower Blood Sugar
The advantages of exercising cannot be underestimated, especially for people with pre-existing conditions like diabetes. It is never too late to start exercising and enjoy its benefits whether an individual is 20 or 70 years old. Engaging in moderate exercises helps lower blood pressure, control weight, strengthens bones and muscles, promote healthy HDL cholesterol, and lower harmful LDL triglycerides and cholesterol.
Exercising offers added benefits for individuals living with diabetes as it lowers blood sugar levels and raises the body’s sensitivity to hormones. An increase in the body’s sensitivity to hormones allows cells to utilize the sugar found in the bloodstream better. Moderate exercises make an individual’s heartbeat faster and breathing a bit harder. The muscles use more glucose found in the bloodstream. Consequently, this will lower the blood sugar levels and improve the performance of the hormones managing blood sugar in the body.
Some of the useful exercises include brisk walking, weightlifting, swimming, hiking, running, and biking. If possible, combine various activities such as cardio workouts with balance moves or stretching for better outcomes. While it is essential to develop a routine for exercising, strenuous workouts can temporarily raise blood sugar levels. Intense exercise can also lead to the production of stress hormones and increased blood sugar.
People who wish to start exercising should consult their doctor for a recommendation on the most suitable exercise. They should also inquire whether they need to adjust their diabetes medicine before starting their workout regime. It is also essential to participate in the activities they enjoy most and develop a plan based on their needs and schedules.
Altering Diet to Lower Blood Sugar
Healthy eating is the backbone of leading a healthy lifestyle. It is essential to know how various foods affect the body’s blood sugar to make the necessary adjustments. Besides the food type, the quantity and the food combination should also be considered.
The body converts carbs into sugars, and then hormones within the body store and uses sugar for energy. The blood sugar levels can increase through the consumption of many carbs or if the storage process is not functioning well, so it is vital to manage carb consumption by knowing how much the body needs and counting carbs.
Fiber slows down the digestion of carbs and sugar absorption, promoting the gradual rise of blood sugar levels. Fiber exists in a soluble and insoluble form, and while both are essential, the former is ideal for better blood sugar management. Furthermore, a fiber-rich diet improves the body’s ability to minimize blood sugar lows and regulate blood sugar.
Besides keeping the body hydrated, drinking water helps the kidney eliminate excess sugar through the urine, rehydrates the blood, lowers the risk of diabetes, and reduces blood sugar levels. It is worth noting that drinks sweetened with sugar increase blood glucose, raise the risk of diabetes, and promote weight gain.
The glycemic index gauges how the human body digests or absorbs foods, affecting how blood sugar levels increase. Some of these foods with moderate or low glycemic index include yogurt, lentils, barley, legumes, and beans.
Making simple lifestyle and dietary changes is an excellent way to lower the blood sugar levels for many people and reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Beyond controlling blood sugar, exercising regularly, drinking plenty of water, avoiding refined grains and added sugars, and sticking to a high-fiber, low-carb diet offer added benefits to the body.
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