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Diabetes and Sports

Appropriate diabetes management demands multiple lifestyle changes. Lifestyle not only includes a healthy meal and timely medicines but also a quality sports activity too. People with diabetes should play sports, as sports are enjoyable activities and diabetes should not impact a person’s sports interest. Regular exercise has shown great results in improving overall health and also increasing insulin sensitivity. Because of this, diabetics are recommended to do some exercise after consulting their doctor. It should be noted that highly vigorous exercises or sports can raise blood sugar levels. This is why a prior consultation is good to avoid such conditions. Besides, with the right guidance and medical support, even intense sports can be beneficial.

Different sports impact diabetes differently. For instance, normal jogging and walking are good for lowering blood sugar levels and also keeping body weight maintained.

Some common sports are potent in keeping blood sugar levels optimum: 

Effects of sports on diabetes

  • Basketball: As this sport is quite tricky and requires frequent stops and starts, hence it complicates glucose management. But with the right planning, it can be manageable. Monitoring blood glucose levels and taking enough carbs are important to avoid low sugar levels. People might have observed a quick rise in their blood sugar levels by adrenaline during a high-performance activity like sports. 
  • Cycling: cycling for a long time can lower blood sugar levels quickly. But consuming food with time can make cycling a feasible activity for diabetics 
  • Swimming: swimming includes both the upper and lower body at the same time it can be beneficial for everyone. Also, for people who have tingling sensations or pain in the feet due to diabetic neuropathy. 
  • Hiking: it is also an intriguing workout plan. Though, frequent blood sugar monitoring and eating snacks in short intervals of time are important.  
  • Golf: it’s also an amazing and interesting workout plan as it includes lots of walking and also offers time to treat the low blood sugar levels 

How to avoid hyperglycemia?


Diabetic people should consume carbohydrates before, during and after workouts. Hence, people should be prepared with their meals. The carbs intake will depend on certain factors such as activity type, active insulin and initial sugar levels. Eating snacks before a workout can be helpful to manage blood glucose levels. 

Taking carbohydrates during a workout is also good to avoid low levels of blood sugar. Hence, for highly endurable activities, carbohydrates fuel the body, avoiding low blood sugar levels and nourishing the muscles.

Additional tips

1. Examine exercise and insulin timing

If the insulin is at a peak during mealtime, it could fall at a faster rate than normal. This is why it is recommended to take meals before or after 3-4 hours after taking insulin. Also, eating extra carbs during exercise is better if someone is unable to follow a meal routine.

2. Beware of your insulin sensitivity

Different people have different levels of insulin sensitivity for instance some people prefer to exercise in the daytime because they observe that they are more sensitive to insulin in the morning as compared to the day. 

3. Analyse how your body responds to activities:

having awareness about the typical blood glucose response is very important and helpful for planning a better lifestyle. For instance, a run or jogging needs more carbohydrates while a yoga class or light exercise does not require extra carbohydrates. It may be different for everyone. 

4. Check sugar levels after exercise

People often feel low blood sugar levels after exercise. Every diabetic should do their research on foods and drinks they consume to figure out why they have low glucose levels after exercise.