Why is swimming so good at lowering BGLs?

 Did you know swimming is particularly effective at lowering blood glucose levels?


Now that it's starting to warm up, it might be time to dust off your cossies. If you're interested in an exercise that works almost every muscle in your body, look no further than swimming.


Unlike cycling, walking or running, which target mainly the muscles of the lower body and trunk, swimming uses almost all major muscles in your body.


Better yet, swimming is a low-impact activity so can be fantastic for arthritis and other conditions affecting the joints where land-based exercises prove difficult.


Swimming is an effective aerobic exercise (working the heart and lungs) and can be done in a variety of ways.


Start off with small sessions of laps, or join a local swim squad. Increasing in popularity are swim fit groups where you do a series of drills and strokes for fitness.


Another option is outdoor swimming if you are fortunate enough to live close to the ocean or a lake.


Swimming is particularly effective at lowering blood glucose levels because of the number of muscles activated which use up glucose as a fuel source. Like anything, start off small and build up gradually over time.


Check your blood glucose levels frequently to monitor the way swimming affects you. 


Some tips for swimming and diabetes:

  • Swim with a friend if you experience hypo unawareness (difficulty recognising a hypo)
  • If you're new to swimming, check your blood glucose level before and after to see how it affects your glucose levels
  • If swimming in the ocean, protect your feet from any potential rock or shell cuts with lightweight protective water shoes
  • Talk to your health team about whether you will need to adjust your insulin doses around swimming


Although traditionally a solitary exercise, there are now more than 40 Masters Swimming Clubs operating from public pools throughout Queensland. Masters Swimming Queensland is a not-for-profit organisation with clubs throughout Queensland.


Its primary goal is to encourage adults 18 and over to swim regularly for fitness, health, social interaction and competition on local, state and international levels.


Masters Swimming is partnering with Diabetes Queensland to stage our Swim10 swim-a-thon in pools around Queensland on Saturday, November 12.


If you're interested in registering for the event, contact or ring 1300 136 588.

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