Tips on exercise and diabetes

Avoiding Post-Race Hypoglycaemia

It may not be scientific research, but former USA (age group) representative in Triathlon, Jay Hewitt, has some sound advice on avoiding post-race hypoglycaemia. 

Even Olympians get the pre-event nervous spikes!

Ever felt so nervous before an activity (competition, race, performance or even an important speech) that your blood sugars spikes before you even begin?

This is a common symptom of adrenaline, and you are not alone in the challenges of trying to manage it.  Do you take more insulin or just ride out the spike?  It is difficult to know what to do.

Location, location, location - picking a site when exercising

Consider what you will be doing that day, morning, afternoon or evening when selecting insulin injection sites. Injecting into areas close to groups of muscles that will be active can increase the rate of absorption of the insulin, subsequently increasing the likelihood of hypo's

Latent Hypo's - Be aware, not alarmed!

Exercise can have an effect on your BGLs 24 hours, or even up to 48 hours post exercise for some people.

Be sure to continue to monitor your BGLs more regularly following exercise, particularly if you are participating in a prolonged or intensive activity. If you are on a basal bolus regime (one long acting insulin injection or basal, then short acting insulin to cover meals or bolus') you may need to reduce your basal dosage both pre and post exercise. You may also need to adjust your bolus dosages, as insulin is more effective when you exercise.

Test twice before you exercise

Testing once before you exercise gives you a snap shot of what your BGL is at that particular point in time.

However if you test twice you can get an idea of how your BGLs are trending - are you heading up? Are you heading down? If you are on a pump how much active insulin do you have on board? Do you need to complete a correction, or further reduce your basal rates?

If you are on a basal bolus regime do you need to eat some additional serves of quick and/or long acting carbohydrates before you start exercising?

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