involves any activity that uses large groups of muscles contracting at a relatively low rate – this means it can be maintained for a long time. Examples include cycling, swimming, jogging and fast walking.
Aerobic exercise means that muscles use up a lot of glucose as a fuel and tends to lower blood glucose levels.
involves higher rates of muscle contraction for shorter periods of time. Examples include sprinting, resistance training and weight lifting. Most racquet sports (tennis, squash and badminton) have an element of anaerobic activity.
Anaerobic exercise uses different body systems to generate fuel and is usually associated with release of chemicals (counter-regulatory hormones) that block the action of insulin and turn the liver on to make more glucose – this can mean that this type of exercise causes blood glucose levels to rise.
This all means that different types of exercise can affect blood glucose levels in different ways. Planning is therefore essential.
Our aim at Excarbs.com is to help people with diabetes using insulin to feel comfortable with taking up exercise – our advice is not aimed at elite athletes but hopefully covers the basic rules for most people living with diabetes.
Remember that if exercise is sustained you will become much more sensitive to the effect of insulin and the dose needed will fall which is a really good result!