The Workout Plan to Help You Better Manage Your Blood Sugar

Want more energy throughout the day with fewer crashes? It may be time to look at your blood sugar levels—and start thinking about helping your body manage it with an exercise plan like our new Blood Sugar Series, created in partnership with the low-impact fitness program, P.volve.  

Blood sugar is a term that gets connected with diabetes often, and for very good reason: they are intrinsically linked. And that’s a major concern because, according to the American Diabetes Association,  37.3 million Americans have diabetes and 1 in 3 have pre-diabetes. But the truth is being mindful of your blood sugar is important for everyone, and it can have a more significant impact on your health than you may think. Dr. Mary Kellis, M.D., Endocrinologist and Sugarbreak Advisor, explains, “Too much glucose in the bloodstream can increase your risk for heart disease, kidney disease, and nerve damage. [It can] increase your risk of abnormal menstrual cycles, affect fertility, and cause erectile dysfunction.”

One way to help your body manage your blood sugar is with a fitness plan, curated to meet the CDC’s recommended standard of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week while also hitting the kinds of movement, strength training, and other support shown to benefit your body’s blood sugar regulation. That’s why we created the P.volve x Sugarbreak Blood Sugar Series to get you moving with a week of workouts and wellness techniques to help your body keep it in check. 

While it can’t treat diabetes or any other health condition, the series may help your body better manage your blood sugar (provided your doctor has cleared you for exercise, of course). And It may have other benefits you didn’t see coming such as helping you get better sleep and increasing your immunity

 

Table of contents:

  • What exactly is blood sugar? 
  • How does exercise help your body manage blood sugar?
  • What is the Blood Sugar Series?
  • What else can you do to support your blood sugar levels?

 

What exactly is blood sugar? 

As the name suggests, your blood sugar level is the amount of sugar, or glucose, in your blood. “It’s your body’s main source of energy and is carried into the cells from the bloodstream,” explains Dr. Kellis. 

When you think of blood sugar, you might also think of insulin, the hormone secreted by the pancreas that helps your cells turn glucose into energy. In general, insulin sensitivity is good. ”It means cells can use blood glucose more effectively,” explains Maeve McEwen, Lead Trainer at P.Volve. On the other hand, insulin resistance, like that found in type 2 diabetes, can lead to high blood sugar levels, and is something you want to avoid. 

And, again, healthy blood sugar is important for everyone, but there are people who may want to be especially mindful of it, including people with diabetes (type 1 and type 2), pre-diabetes, or those with history of diabetes in their family. And because it can have an impact on hormones, menopausal women and people coping with PCOS and/or struggling with fertility may also benefit from managing their levels. 

 

How does exercise help your body manage blood sugar?

“The good news is that exercise can help keep blood glucose levels in a healthy range and lower your risk of complications by making you more sensitive to insulin,” says Dr. Kellis. It may also help with weight loss, another key factor in side-stepping blood sugar problems, according to the CDC.

Regular physical activity is an important part of managing diabetes. The first type of exercise to have a positive impact on blood sugar management is resistance training, which, according to Dr. Kellis, improves muscle mass and strength, blood glucose control, as well as blood pressure and lean body mass. 

Then there’s cardio (or aerobic) training, which she says increases insulin sensitivity and improves immune function. What’s more, “Moderate intensity aerobic exercise has been shown to lower cardiovascular risk and mortality in those who have diabetes. And in those with type 2 diabetes, it’s been shown to lower A1C [a measure of your average blood sugar level], improve blood pressure and insulin resistance, as well as improve cholesterol levels,” insists Dr. Kellis.

 

What is the Blood Sugar Series?

The P.volve x Sugarbreak Blood Sugar Series features four workouts to provide a mix of cardio and strength-training, along with one hip mobility class, a meditation session, and a 30 minute walk on your own. 

The focus is on keeping you moving while leaving stress levels low and helping restore your body with mobility classes in between workouts. Maeve, says, “Over-exerting yourself in exercise can actually negatively affect your blood glucose levels, if the body is pumping out too much adrenaline and cortisol or not recovering properly.”  (You can read more about stress and blood sugar and get some detox tips here.)

The thinking is that by going for low-impact movement like that found in P.volve's Method instead of something more strenuous like HIIT, you can reduce the stress on your body while also getting in the recommended amount of activity. That’s one of the things that makes P.volve’s functional movement-based Method so doable for the long-term—it’s both effective and gentle on your body.

​​But remember it’s always important to consult with your medical team when thinking about taking on a new workout. The American Diabetes Association recommends consulting your medical team to make sure it’s safe for any health complications you may have before beginning any exercise program with diabetes. 

 

What else can you do to support your blood sugar levels?

Arm yourself with knowledge. One way: By watching P.volve's Q&As with Maeve and Dr. Kellis to learn how to watch the amount of sugar in your food and take a look at your sleep cycles, hydration levels, medications, allergies, and hormones, all of which can impact your levels.  

Another helpful source of information is our Saliva Glucose Tracker, which estimates your glucose levels in less than 10 minutes with a swab two hours after eating.

And for extra blood sugar support during your workout, drink our pre-exercise Energize Hydration & Energy Electrolyte Mix for steady blood sugar and longer-lasting energy.