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Transition was positive. They helped me understand my condition.

Diabetes

Exercise

Exercise can be good for both your physical and mental health and it is recommended that all young people do at least 60 mins of physical activity a day if possible. Having diabetes shouldn't prevent you from doing this or excelling in a sport you enjoy.

Having diabetes means that you might just have to think about the impact of sport on your body a bit more. Different sports can have different effects on blood glucose levels. Aerobic activity, where you are involved in prolonged low impact sports such as cycling, jogging or swimming, are likely to reduce your blood glucose levels both during and after activity. Anaerobic activity where sports are short and intense such as sprinting and weightlifting, or team sports such as basketball are more likely to increase blood glucose level initially and then they may drop later.

To help manage your diabetes when you are taking part in exercise it might be helpful to think about doing the following:

  • Test your blood glucose before, during if possible and after exercise.
  • Aim for 7mmol/l immediately before and during exercise. If below 7mmol/l have a 15g carbohydrate snack and as a general rule 15g carbs for every 30mins of activity may be needed.
  • Adjustments can be made to carbs eaten, insulin doses or both (adjusting both is especially important if exercising for longer than 60 mins). If exercising within 2 hr of eating the insulin at that meal can be reduced, try -30% as a starting point.
  • If your blood glucose is more than 14mmol/l before exercise then you should check for ketones, if this is higher than 0.6mmol/l then exercise is likely to raise your blood glucose and could be dangerous. You should treat your ketones and postpone exercise until they have cleared.
  • You might find that extra carbs after exercise can help prevent hypos if you find these occur after taking part in sport.

You might also want to remember:

  • It's important to not inject into active muscles before sport i.e. if you are going to be running then avoid injecting into your thigh.
  • You can be more sensitive to your insulin up to 24 hrs post exercise; this can increase your risk of hypos. It's important to always carry hypo treatment with you.
  • Keep hydrated and drink sugar free fluids too.

You might find it helpful to keep a detailed diary of exercise you take part in, your blood glucose levels and your food and insulin intake to talk through with your diabetes team. You can also find more information about having diabetes and taking part in exercise here