A continuous glucose monitor (CGM) can offer plenty of help for people with diabetes.  Because you are able to check your blood sugar levels at a glance, a CGM can also help you plan your diet and your exercise routines much better.

How does a CGM help you when you become more active?

Exercise is a big part of a healthy lifestyle. Doing these activities uses our blood sugar for energy, and while that sounds simple, it’s harder than it sounds. A healthy lifestyle can be achieved with a bit of patience and hard work but a CGM can make that journey easier and less of a hassle.

Blood sugar sticks are often used to watch for changes in a person’s blood sugars. In general, these are helpful to people with diabetes both before and after a workout. However, a meter can be less helpful as you need to poke yourself several times to keep track of your sugar levels. This can be painful and even a little embarrassing.

A CGM, on the other hand, is a device that can be placed on your skin, and can send your sugar results to your phone or a reader. This way, you can work around your blood sugar levels whether eating or working out by seeing a change in how fast your sugar is going up or down. 

CGM is for people concerned about their sugar levels during activity

A CGM comes in handy for anyone who wants to manage their blood sugar levels better and improve their overall health, making it a great tool for any activity or workouts, as well as healthier meal plans moving forward.

You can better see how your body uses energy (sugar) with a CGM

Your CGM can show your blood sugar levels before, during, and after your routine. It also gives you a view of how your body uses energy during and after exercise. This way, you can have an idea if you need food before or after your routine for a smooth recovery.

Seeing the blood sugar and the trend arrows from the CGM also makes sure that you can avoid random sugar spikes after your workout. Because of the CGM’s small size, it does not get in the way of your exercise.

You can work around your limits with a CGM

Having real-time data on your blood sugar levels is one of a CGM’s biggest rewards . It can give you more insight on how to exercise and eat food at a pace that works best for your body. Knowing the trends in your blood sugar can also help you respond more quickly against sudden highs and lows and even before the change in your sugar can become a problem.

A woman with a CGM preparing her meal

CGM’s are great for people who are active but aren’t sure of what to eat before and after a workout

Eating random foods all at once before working out isn’t as good of an idea as some people think. You need to fuel your body with a mix of fats and carbohydrates to get the most out of your workout routine. 

It’s a myth that exercise needs to be intense to be effective. This is definitely not the case for everyone since each person has his or her own goals and needs for fitness. With a CGM, you can personalize your diet and see which foods work best for you.

You can pick the best type of “fuel sources” for your own body

The human body makes use of calories to do various tasks, and that includes exercise. However, it isn’t as simple as it sounds. Your body makes use of different fuel sources in order to maintain exercise intensity, and each type has its advantages and disadvantages.

On the one hand, you have the fat in your body, which has more calories but takes longer to break down and become available for use. On the other hand, you have carbs, which provide less energy but are available for use faster.

A big part of exercising is your ability to use different fuel sources efficiently. With a CGM, you can figure out what you need and adjust your workout routine based on the results. Done right, your workout routine can get you closer to your fitness goals at a steady pace all while keeping your blood sugar in target and avoiding high and low sugars.

You’ll know how intense your activities should be

Studies have shown that an intense workout is not always a better workout. The last thing anyone wants is to put so much effort into exercise only to not get the results they’re looking for or to have their blood sugar crash too low. 

Data from your CGM can help you and, in some cases, your trainer, determine the kinds of workouts you should be doing that match your diet and goals. Doing these routines will also keep a constant use of your energy and sugar throughout the time you are moving.

A child with a CGM and an adult exercising together.

Your blood sugar can still be affected 24-48 hours after intense exercise

Even after your workout, you should still focus on watching your sugar levels. If you’re not tracking your sugars, there’s a chance of having random spikes while you’re trying to rest. These can be a risk for heart disease, stroke, and even vascular damage. The following are reasons why your blood sugar levels may rise.

Adrenaline is produced

Keep in mind that your body produces stress hormones like adrenaline while you exercise. This can make matters slightly harder for people with diabetes since adrenaline can cause your blood sugar to go up. This is your body trying to keep up with the effort you’re exerting.

Low levels of insulin

Rising blood sugar levels after exercise can be due to a lack of insulin. Since you need energy when you are doing anything physical, your cells will need sugar. When you don’t have enough insulin, your body can’t move sugar into the cells where it’s supposed to be. Your brain cannot see that the sugar is in the blood; it can only see that you are not getting sugar into your cells.

That’s why your brain signals your liver to make and let go of sugar it has stored as backup on top of the sugar already  in your blood. The liver will add more, making your blood sugars even higher.

However, these reasons shouldn’t discourage you. There are certain things you can do to prevent blood sugar spikes. 

Before you start an intense workout, you can check your CGM to get an idea of your body’s current sugar reading  and over time you will learn how it will react to intense exercise. More than that,  things like proper breathing, moderate-intensity workouts, and a healthy diet are good things to try.

Improve Your Health with CGM exercise

Having a CGM not only helps you watch your blood sugar levels but also helps you improve your overall health through better decisions on your diet and exercise.

Better Health can handle the paperwork with your doctor and check your insurance to ensure you’re covered and never overpay. Call Better Health at 415-475-8444 today.

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