Regular physical activity is extremely important for your physical and mental health. If you have type 1 diabetes, it can help you with your diabetes management and prevent long-term complications. Exercise can also improve how sensitive your body is to insulin and so it may mean that you need to take less insulin over time.
Type 1 diabetes won’t stop you from doing any sort of exercise, however, it does require a bit more planning and finding the balance with your insulin doses, the food you eat and the type of activity you do.
All exercise and sports will have an impact on your blood glucose levels. Depending on the type of activity you do, it can either cause them to rise or drop. Regular blood glucose monitoring can help you manage your glucose levels and identify whether you need to make any adjustments to your insulin doses or eat more carbs before your exercise.
Some general tips to follow to keep safe when exercising:
- Check your blood glucose levels before, during and after exercise.
- Keep a record of your blood glucose levels, insulin doses and food diary to share with your diabetes team so they can help you work out any adjustments you need to make to your insulin and diet.
- Keep monitoring your blood glucose levels regularly after your exercise as they can drop up to 12 hours after exercising and you may need to reduce your insulin dose before bed or eat extra carbohydrate.
- Drink plenty of water while you exercise.
For more detailed guidance on physical activity, have a look at our ‘Type 1 Diabetes and Physical Activity’ course which is available through the eLearning homepage.