Mixing Medication and Exercise

Is there a best time to exercise? The short answer is yes: anytime you can fit it into your schedule. But exercise such as walking and moderate aerobics brings down blood sugar both while you do it and for up to a day afterward.

While that’s the big payoff, it’s also a potential hazard, especially if you take medication or insulin. The reason? Let’s say you’ve just taken oral medication or a dose of insulin to bring your blood sugar down, and then you immediately walk for an hour. The glucose-lowering combination of the treatment and the activity could send your blood sugar crashing.

On the other hand, if you’re taking insulin but don’t give yourself a large enough dose, your blood sugar may actually rise too high during exercise. That’s because when you’re physically active, the liver pumps out more glucose, and without adequate insulin, your body will have trouble shifting glucose from your blood to working muscles. Only you and your doctor can sort this all out, but you may be able to avoid most problems by following these guidelines.

  • Exercise an hour or two after eating. At that point, your blood sugar levels are elevated from food, and you’ll have ample glucose to fuel your muscles. At the same time, your digestive system will have finished most of its work, so it won’t deplete the energy you need for your workout.
  • If you take medication, ask your doctor if you can skip it before exercising or take a lower dose; the blood sugar drop from physical activity may be able to substitute for the drug. Otherwise, avoid exercising when the effects of your medication peak.
  • If you use insulin, time your workouts so you’re not active when the effects of the insulin peak, often within the first hour or two after an injection. Your doctor will probably want you to monitor your blood sugar before and after to see how activity affects it, and based on those results, he may want you to adjust your insulin dose before you exercise.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.