What happens to your blood sugar when you stop exercising?

To understand what happens to your blood sugar when you stop exercising it is important to understand what blood sugar is and how it is measured.


Blood sugar is a measure of glucose in our bloodstream at any given time. Glucose is a simple sugar that is a fuel source for our working cells. A large amount of glucose is in the bloodstream over an extended period can cause damage to various tissues and lead to dangerous chronic conditions like diabetes. Alternatively, not enough glucose in the bloodstream causes a reduced amount of fuel in the body to power the working muscles, the brain, and other organs.


When exercise routines lessen or stop, sedentary behaviors can lead to difficulty in regulating glucose. Even in those without diabetes, a sedentary lifestyle can disrupt glucose tolerance, increase fasting insulin levels, and decrease insulin sensitivity.

Exercise provides a brief therapeutic effect on metabolic markers such as insulin sensitivity. One study noted that following 10 weeks of regular single leg cycling, there was a 25% increase in insulin sensitivity in the trained leg (Dela et al., 1992). However, researchers found that this adaptation regressed six days following cessation of exercise. Regular, consistent, and sustainable exercise is vital to the control of


The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity per week for proper management of blood sugar. This translates to five 30-minute bouts of exercise. Moderate activity could include things such as brisk walking, riding a bike, and doing water aerobics. High intensity interval training, or vigorous activity, is another option in lieu of moderate activity, with the recommendation being three 20-minute sessions per week. Resistance training can also improve blood glucose control, with the ACSM recommendation being a minimum of two non-consecutive resistance training days per week.

For further guidance on exercise contact our personal training department by emailing personaltraining@proclub.com calling 425-885-5566 or viewing our website here.

PRO Club also offers all members a complementary Get Started session with a certified personal trainer and a complimentary 55 minute personal training session. It’s a great way to learn how to use the club’s equipment, and you’ll receive a personalized workout you can do on your own. To learn more or schdule your complimentary get started and persoal gtraining sesion clikc here.

Assessment Team at PRO Club and PRO Medical
Hunter is a former Division III cross country and track runner who competed at a national level and continues to push himself in endurance races around the Pacific Northwest. With this commitment comes the understanding of dedication and hard work. Hunter is a lifelong learner and is currently earning his master’s degree in exercise science and does not expect to stop there. He seeks to learn as much as he can about the importance of diet and exercise to teach others how to live a healthy life. Hunter is passionate about showing others how movement is medicine and how it can empower someone to achieve their goals. Hunter believes that exercise is for everybody, and that exercise should not be a chore or something tedious, but engaging and exciting.

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