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Regulation of glucose during exercise
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Regulation of glucose during exercise

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  • Exercise has an insulin-like effect of lowering blood glucose levels. Muscle contractions stimulate glucose transport and metabolism into working muscles, without the use of insulin.The delivery of glucose is facilitated by increased blood flow to exercising muscles. The increased blood flow allows more glucose to enter muscles to be used as energy.
  • The following are proposed mechanisms that play a role in the benefits gained though physical activity as a treatment of insulin resistance, impaired glucose tolerance, and type 2 diabetes.Reduction in abdominal fat: Abdominal fat accumulation is highly related to the development of insulin resistance.Increase in muscle mass:Skeletal muscle is the largest mass of insulin-sensitive tissue in the body. Increasing muscle mass helps alleviate insulin resistanceIncreased number of insulin receptors: A reduced number of receptors has been reported in obese individuals and type 2 diabeticsImproved skeletal muscle insulin action: Increases in insulin-regulatable glucose transporters and enzymes.Improved glucose tolerance: Conditioned muscles have improved glucose tolerance


  • 1. Regulation of Blood Sugar During Exercise
  • 2. Diabetes
    Adequate amount of insulin is not produced
    Insulin not used effectively due to tissue insensitivity
  • 3. Insulin transports glucose (blood sugar) into cells throughout the body for energy
    Without insulin, glucose is unable to enter the cell, so it remains in the bloodstream
    Accumulation is eventually excreted by the body
    If uncontrolled can result in blood vessel, heart, nerve, feet, eye, and kidney problems
    Insulin & glucose
  • 4. Exercise has an insulin-like effect
    Stimulates glucose transport and metabolism
    Increases blood flow to exercising muscles
    More glucose to enter the muscle to be burned up for energy
    Exercise lowers glucose levels
  • 5. Reduction in abdominal fat
    Increase in muscle mass
    Increased number of insulin receptors
    Improved skeletal muscle insulin action
    Improved glucose tolerance
    Exercise improves insulin sensitivity
  • 6. Exercise can reduce insulin requirements by 30-50%
    Improved insulin sensitivity lasting 1 – 2 days after each bout of exercise
    Insulin is more effective in glucose uptake
    Improved cardiovascular and psychological well-being
    Must be regular exercise and long-term to keep improvements
    Type 1 Diabetes
  • 7. Regular exercise leads to long-term improvements in diabetic control
    For obese type 2 diabetics, the combination of diet and exercise can reduce insulin requirements up to 100%
    Type 2 Diabetes
  • 8. American Diabetes Association. (2002). Diabetes mellitus and exercise. Diabetes Care, 25(suppl. 1). doi:10.2337 /diacare.25.2007.S64
    Durstine, J.L., Moore, G. E., Painter, P. L., & Roberts, S.O. (Eds.).(2009). ACSM’s exercise management for persons with chronic diseases and disabilities (3rd Ed.). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.