- Check blood glucose – if less than 5 mmol/l (90 mg/dl) you will need to take extra carb, at least 15g and recheck
- If blood glucose levels are between 5 and 13.9 mmol/l (90 to 250 mg/dl) off you go and enjoy
- Above 14 mmol/l (250 mg/dl) and/or ketones then correct with insulin and delay the exercise
- Plan whether you are going to take extra carbohydrates for exercise, reduce insulin for exercise or a combination
- Measure blood glucose levels every 30 minutes
- Take regular fluids (250 mls every 30 minutes)
- Take regular carbs (if this is in your plan – see ExCarbs)
It has been shown in research studies that having a sharp short full on sprint for 10 seconds at the end of moderate intensity exercise can prevent a post-exercise hypo. This works by causing the body to release large amounts of adrenaline which turns on the liver to release more glucose and slows down the uptake of glucose by muscles – try it at see if you have been doing aerobic exercise!
- Measure glucose for up to 2 hours after exercise
- You may need a meal (low Glycaemic Index preferably) to protect against a hypo later
- You might need to reduce the dose of long-acting basal insulin (Lantus or Levemir) or the basal rate on your pump for the night after exercise
Our aim at Excarbs.com is to help people with diabetes using insulin to feel comfortable with taking up exercise – our advice is not aimed at elite athletes but hopefully covers the basic rules for most people living with diabetes.
Remember that if exercise is sustained you will become much more sensitive to the effect of insulin and the dose needed will fall which is a really good result!