Lifestyle habits are key for managing blood sugar levels. A balanced diet paired with regular physical activity is just as important as taking diabetes medications (and could even reduce how much medicine you need to take.)

Checking your blood glucose regularly or using information from your continuous blood glucose monitor (CGM) can help you better understand how your body responds to physical activity or food so you can make adjustments as needed—here’s how.

Can you manage your blood sugars through exercise?

Exercise helps lower blood sugar levels by making your muscles more responsive to insulin. Any kind of movement counts! Moving your body also supports cardiovascular health by lowering cholesterol and blood pressure. Plus, it’s a natural stress reliever, which is important because stress can also increase blood sugar.

Try checking your blood sugar before, during, and after exercise. You’ll have a first-row seat to see how your body performs.

How to manage blood sugar levels with a diet?

What you eat directly impacts blood sugar. Here are a few tips for managing blood sugar with your diet:

  • Limit packaged or fast food and reach for vegetables, whole grain, beans, and nuts instead. These foods are less processed and have fiber which helps stabilize your blood sugar.
  • Use the plate method. Fill half your plate with non-starchy veggies like broccoli or spinach. Add healthy proteins like chicken or fish to one quarter and a healthy carb like quinoa or sweet potato to the other to build a blood sugar balancing plate.
Plate method for diabetes

Each person responds differently to food, so you can check your blood sugar before and after meals to learn your individual response and make adjustments if it goes above or below your target.

Let’s say you love french fries, but when you eat them, your glucose levels go higher than your blood sugar targets. Does this mean you can never eat fries again? No, but you can use the information to make changes like eating a smaller portion or adjusting medications - with the help of your care team.

There’s a myth that the only way to manage diabetes is to give up the foods you love, and this simply isn’t true. Checking blood sugar can be a tool to help you learn how to make adjustments that still give the flexibility to match your lifestyle.

Use diet and exercise together for blood sugar management

Lifestyle habits like diet and exercise go a long way for blood sugar management. The key is to develop a plan that is individualized to you. can work with you to do just that by giving you easy access to medications and to a diabetes care team that cares about your health.

Start making healthy lifestyle changes today is here to help you manage your blood sugar with a diabetes care team that works with you one-on-one to create a care plan that fits your lifestyle and budget. Learn more about our offerings here, including tests and medications delivered right to your door.