DiscoverZOE Science & NutritionHow to improve blood sugar control with exercise
How to improve blood sugar control with exercise

How to improve blood sugar control with exercise

Update: 2023-01-1912


Blood sugar is one of the rare nutrition topics where everyone agrees: We should avoid big peaks and dips and aim for a steady curve. 

Spikes cause inflammation, accelerate aging, and lead to type 2 diabetes. Crashes make us feel moody and tired, and crave foods we don’t need. 

We can control our blood sugar through what and how we eat. But something else affects our blood sugar — physical activity.

Exercise has a profound effect on your blood sugar response. Together with your food choices, being physically active helps you keep your blood sugar level even.

In this episode of ZOE Science & Nutrition, Jonathan speaks with Javier Gonzalez and Sarah Berry to find out how exercise affects our blood sugar response — even when we’re fasting — and how much exercise we need to do to benefit.

  • Javier Gonzalez is an associate professor of human physiology at the University of Bath whose research focuses on the interaction between diet and exercise.
  • Sarah Berry is one of the world's leading experts on human nutrition. She has personally run over 20 randomized clinical trials looking at how humans respond to different fats.

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00:00 - Introduction

00:12 - Topic introduction

01:39 - Quickfire questions

02:55 - Is a 30-minute walk as good as 30-minute cardio?

03:39 - What is blood sugar and why should we care about it?

05:10 - Blood sugar control throughout the day

07:43 - Why is it important to know about blood sugar?

09:01 - Blood sugar control

12:25 - How exercise affects blood sugar

14:17 - The power of fidgeting

16:12 - Effects of higher intensity exercise

17:00 - Lower intensity exercise vs higher intensity exercise

18:41 - Intermittent fasting and blood sugar

24:43 - Personalization

26:35 - What types of exercises can you do to control blood sugar?

29:12 - Cardio vs resistance training

34:21 - Blood fats & exercise

42:15 - 3 tips on leveraging exercise to control blood sugar and blood fats

43:14 - Summary

44:25 - Goodbyes

44:37 - Outro

Episode transcripts are available here.

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How to improve blood sugar control with exercise

How to improve blood sugar control with exercise