Exercise & Diabetes

Exercise & Diabetes

I quite often get asked how I manage my blood sugar levels with the amount of sport I do. I was a GB age group triathlete and I'm now open water swimming with the aim to race this coming year.

With Type 1 Diabetes we have to think about so much before training. Pre Diabetes I grabbed my shoes and I'd be out the door. Now I have to make sure I've eaten recently (preferably the right stuff) made sure my blood sugar level isn't too low or high, packed my insulin, glucose and snacks for the session and a back up reader incase I knock my Libre off my arm whilst training.

During training I'm checking my levels every 20-40 minutes to make sure I don't spike suddenly or have a hypo mid session. Exercise can sometimes make my blood sugar rocket, especially if I am doing sprints. Or my blood sugars will go down quickly if I am doing an endurance set. I have read up that this is because high intensity exercise causes a stress response in the body and glucagon is produced to provide muscles with energy.

Straight after training I normally plummet quickly. I often wonder what the lifeguards at the pool must think of me - all they see is me hoping out the pool to eat, then eating post session again! 

Exercise with Diabetes is manageable, it's just about adapting to what my body needs now and learning how to cope whilst training. Its also very important to have some form of medical ID on you - for example a keyring or wristband - so in the worst case scenario whoever is helping you can know you're Diabetic.

So keep going fellow Type 1s, exercise does help maintain more stable blood sugars in the long run

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