Exercising after meals

By asiort Latest Reply 2014-10-08 12:25:29 -0500
Started 2014-10-06 20:46:03 -0500

Hello. Recently, I was diagnosed with Prediabetes. The doctor said that I should be able to manage my glucose level with diet and exercise. My question is this: I want to exercise a little after eating to get my glucose level down. How long does it typically take for the glucose to get into my blood stream? How long should I wait after eating before exercising to make it effective on my glucose level? I realize that everyone is different, I'm just looking for a time frame range.

13 replies

asiort 2014-10-07 18:19:59 -0500 Report

Hi everyone. Thanks for all the great responses. Currently, I've only been tracking my glucose levels once a day for 18 days. Testing after a different meal each day. My current glucose average is 135. I've been working hard to change my diet these last few weeks — it's been hard! I've also increased my exercise routine to include more days of the week. I just wanted to know what's the optimum time to exercise after eating to get the most effectiveness in lower my glucose level. Thanks to jayabee52, I took a look at the website posted and found some guidelines that will help. Much appreciated.

Nick1962 2014-10-07 18:05:59 -0500 Report

I think we missed something important here. You posted “I want to exercise a little after eating to get my glucose level down”. Exercising may lower glucose (it raises mine), but the point of management is not to let it get too high to begin with. If you eat a meal and test out at 175 after about 15 minutes, how quickly you bring it down doesn’t matter, you still hit 175 and that will be reflected in your A1c. Exercise doesn't stop the absorption.
By all means exercise, but work on the food too because that’s the “diet” part of “diet AND exercise” your doctor was talking about.

JoleneAL 2014-10-08 10:11:03 -0500 Report

I hit 300 at times and my A1C was 6.4 last week. Yes, it hit 300, but I got it down FAST and it didn't stay there. I think saying hitting it is more important than getting it down is misleading and harmful.

Nick1962 2014-10-08 10:44:15 -0500 Report

I think we’re misunderstanding each other here. My point was to not get high numbers in the first place and then try to exercise them away. Not sure what’s misleading or harmful in that. Yes, we all have our occasional spikes, but no matter what you do to get them down, the glucose still goes through your system.

Glucerna 2014-10-07 17:50:12 -0500 Report

It's great that you're adding exercise into your regular routine. Exercise at any time of day typically helps decrease blood sugar levels overall. Check with your doctor to find out if there's one time of day he really wants you to exercise. There's a good article about exercise and prediabetes here: http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/35/1... ~Lynn @Glucerna

Type1Lou 2014-10-07 09:11:57 -0500 Report

Another advantage to exercising after a meal is that there is less risk of having a low blood sugar episode. I usually exercise 30 to 60 minutes after finishing lunch.

GabbyPA 2014-10-07 07:07:14 -0500 Report

The effects of exercise can last for hours after you are done, so doing it after eating most likely won't need a time frame to be effective. Specially if you do it after each meal. You will be setting yourself up for good success if you do that. I find that my exercise works better for me after meals as well.

jayabee52 2014-10-07 01:46:20 -0500 Report

Howdy Aslort

It really depends on what you have eaten as to when the glucose gets into your blood. If one eats a "simple" carb (see ~ http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/image... ) one gets digestion rather quickly and you will likely spike quickly (and maybe even go into a hypo). That usually takes about 1 to 2 hrs to happen. Most PWDs (people with diabetes) don't want that to happen and try to avoid it. Eating complex carbs ( see ~ http://www.livestrong.com/article/27398-list-...) helps avoid that.

Then Protein and fats take longest to digest. One can digest a late snack of protein the majority of the night, which is useful for avoiding having a liver dump overnight.

As a general rule folks will do a BG test at 2 hrs post meal (post prandial) and some even 3 hrs postpradial.

However I would look to the Mayo clinic website to find the best time to excercise after you eat here ~ http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/fitn...

According to that it kind depends on how big a meal you've had. 1 hr after a snack, 2 to 3 hrs after a medium meal and 3 to 4 hrs after a large meal. (this is addressed to the general populace, not necessarily to those who have diabetes)

I pray this has been helpful to you


haoleboy 2014-10-06 22:42:58 -0500 Report

typically glucose from a meal starts entering the blood stream about 15 minutes after you start eating and peaking at about 45 minutes … of course this depends on what you've eaten (as well as other factors).
generally I wait about an hour after eating to exercise

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