Several ways. When you work out, your muscles use glycogen-a glucose source stored in muscle tissue-for energy. With prolonged exercise, the muscles take up glucose at an accelerated rate, turning to blood glucose once glycogen stores have been depleted. In addition, if you have type 2 diabetes and are overweight, exercise can help you lose excess body fat, which will in turn decrease your insulin resistance. The blood glucose lowering affect of exercise can last for up to 72 hours after a work out. It’s important to note, however, that exercise can also have a hyperglycemic (or high blood glucose) effect on some people. In particular, long sessions of very strenuous exercise can cause blood sugars to rise. Always consult with your diabetes care provider before starting an exercise program.
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