Why Does My Blood Sugar Level Increase After Exercise?

It is often found that vigorous exercise sometimes enhances the blood sugar levels instead of lowering it. This is not an unusual occurrence. People with high blood sugar level are encouraged to do exercise regularly to control the blood sugar level. In fact, when it comes to maintaining diabetes, blood sugar and exercise usually goes hand in hand. Exercise has a very significant role not only in controlling the blood sugar level but also in boosting the overall fitness of our body and also in reducing the risk of heart disease and avoiding a stroke. However, people facing the problem of increasing blood sugar levels right after exercise should take them seriously and consult with doctors.

Why Does My Blood Sugar Level Increase After Exercise?

Hormones Responsible For Increasing The Blood Sugar Level Rises After Exercise

It is mostly seen that blood sugar level increases to some extent right after exercise. If an inadequate amount of insulin is present in the blood, then the blood sugar level may even raise over 250 or 300 mg/dL. Here are some conditions that lead to increased blood sugar levels after exercise:

  • When you perform exercise then your blood sugar level is surely expected to rise. This is because when the low insulin is coupled with physical exercise such as fast walking, bicycling, swimming, etc. it stimulates the secretion of many other essential hormones epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol, glucagon, etc. All these hormones cause the liver to release a huge amount of glucose in the blood due to which the blood sugar level increases. The more you do exercise the more will be the secretion of glucose from the liver.
  • One of the most important reasons for raised blood sugar level is increased physical stress level in a person. When the stress hormones are secreted in huge quantities, the liver will release more and more glucose. The more vigorous exercise a stressed person will perform, the more glucose is likely to be released. The stress hormones may elevate for two to three hours after vigorous exercise. This may cause the liver to release the glucose continuously. This is the reason why you find high blood sugar level in a diabetes patient after exercise.
  • Another obvious reason is Counter Regulatory Hormones (CRH). This is the hormone makes the liver to raise a huge amount of glucose into the blood which can also result into high blood sugar level. When you perform intensive exercise huge amount of Counter Regulatory Hormones (CRH) is secreted and as a result, the liver releases a huge amount of glucose. But light exercise does not cause any problem in the secretion level of Counter Regulatory Hormones (CRH). For example, if a diabetic patient walks for half an hour it will not cause any serious effect – only a little amount of counter-regulatory hormones will be secreted and liver will release a little amount of glucose. In such case, the blood pressure level of the patient may rise to 120 mg/dL but it will come down to 100 mg/DL after half an hour of rest.


These are some reasons why the blood pressure level jumps up after performing an intensive exercise. That is why doctors advice all diabetic patients not to do any kind of intense exercise or any hazardous work for a long time at a stretch. However, light exercise for 30-60 minutes or other physical activities such as walking, jogging, light yoga, etc. does not pose any problem. It is also necessary to understand what kinds of exercise and physical activities are suitable for you. At the same time, proper diets and lifestyle also play a significant role in this medical condition.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 18, 2018

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