1. Why be active?
Exercise is important for everyone, it gives us more energy and helps maintain a healthy weight. Exercise is especially important when you have Type 1 Diabetes as it helps to improve the control of your blood glucose and builds up your self-confidence.
All exercise is great – from walking, riding a bicycle to playing football. Try to be a little active everyday.
For a start, set a goal to exercise during 30 minutes everyday. Then gradually increase to 60 minutes a day for 5 to 6 days a week.
2. How exercice may affect blood glucose levels?
Exercice and physical activity can affect blood glucose levels in different ways
It usually lowers blood glucose levels due to:
- Muscles using more glucose as energy
- Body becoming more sensitive to insulin
Or it can sometimes increase blood glucose levels due to:
- The effect of other hormones on the body (usually temporary due to stress or excitement)
- Being sick
3. Exercise tips for people with Type 1 Diabetes
- Test blood glucose before exercise: This helps decide how much food may be required before the exercise starts.
- Hypoglycaemia kit: Make sure you always carry a hypoglyacemia kit (e.g. juice and biscuits) when exercising.
- Tell the coach or teacher: Make sure you are supervised by someone who can help in case of a hypoglycemia or hyperglycaemia.
- Insulin injection: Avoid exercise within 2 hours after insulin injection because it might make the blood glucose level drops much faster. Discuss with your doctor if you are not sure about the insulin injection schedule.
- Food to eat before exercise: Ask your doctor or nurse how much food your child may require before exercise. Some suitable choice include: fruit, low fat milk, yogurt, biscuit or a slice of bread.
- Prolonged exercise: Prolonged periods of exercise may require extra carbohydrates and/or a reduction in insulin dose. Discuss this with your doctor or nurse.
4. Take control of your health
You have to take control of your own health. It’s important that you tell your teacher whenever you’re not feeling well during exercise.
It’s completely OK to interrupt and stop playing a sport or exercising. You must attend to your diabetes needs, like eating a snack for low blood glucose (hypoglycaemia) symptoms or checking blood glucose levels.
HelloType1 content is based on published, internationally recognised guidelines and then reviewed by local experts to ensure it fits local context. The translation is based on simplified English language to ensure it conveys the safest and clearest possible message in regional languages. Basic insulin and blood glucose testing access is still an issue in the South-East Asia region and our chief aim is to address this. HelloType1 content is not intended to replace the advice of individual healthcare professionals but as a collaborative tool to help them improve the outcomes of disadvantaged people with Type 1 Diabetes in the region.