Diabetes Type 1 and Exercise
It is important for individuals with Diabetes Type 1 to stay active since exercise can lower the chances to develop complications like high blood pressure, heart disease, vision loss and nerve damage. According to the American Diabetes Association, it is recommended for adults with Type 1 Diabetes to exercise at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous intensity workout per week. Three basic guidelines are: eating enough carbohydrates, monitoring glucose before, during and after exercise, and adjusting insulin.
Resistance training includes exercise with muscle-strengthening workouts such as weight lifting, resistance band exercises and bodyweight exercises. Resistance training is recommended two to three sessions per week for adults with Type 1 Diabetes.
Aerobic exercise (low intensity, high duration) may cause blood sugar levels to drop.
Anaerobic exercise (high intensity, short duration) may cause sugar levels to rise.
Combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercise may cause blood sugar levels to rise and fall irregularly.
Studies also suggest resistance training before aerobic training may help keep blood sugar steadier. For example, weight lifting before going for a jogging.
In general, exercise with type 1 Diabetes can:
- Reach better AC1 targets
- Achieve blood pressure targets
- Decrease in total daily insulin needs
- Reduce heart disease risk factors
- Reduce diabetic complications
- Reduce the risk of developing diabetic ketoacidosis or sever hypoglycemia
If you start to feel sick, shaky or confused, stop the exercise and check your blood sugar level. If your blood sugar is lower than 100mg/dL before you begin a workout, eat around 15g of fast-acting carbohydrates. If your blood sugar is higher than 250mg/dL before you begin a workout, test your urine for ketones. If you have high level of ketones do not exercise. If you do not have ketones you can exercise.