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Exercising with Diabetes?

Exercise is very important when you have diabetes. It is recommended to exercise at least 30 minutes (moderately) intensively 5 days a week. Examples include walking, cycling, heavier household tasks or strength training.

Exercise can have several benefits, but there are a few things to keep in mind.

With diabetes, the body responds less well to insulin. Insulin is needed to move sugar from the blood into cells so that it can be used by the body. Exercise can increase insulin sensitivity, which lowers blood sugar levels.

Chance of hypo

If the medicines/insulin are not properly adjusted to the movement, this can lead to low blood sugar (hypo). This can still happen 24 to 48 hours after exercise. Keep an eye on blood sugar and complaints to prevent this. On the website of  diabetesfonds there is a table with how many carbohydrates (sugars) should be eaten / drunk before exercise, at different blood sugar levels.

Chance of hyper

High blood sugar can also develop (hyper). Then exercise for a little longer or inject extra insulin. If you regularly (intensively) exercise and notice that the blood sugar is often too high/low during or after exercise, you can consult with your doctor or dietitian to inject less insulin before exercise.

What should you pay attention to?

  • measure your blood sugar before and after exercise
  • tell people you exercise with that you have diabetes
  • do not exercise with low blood sugar (below 5mmol/l)
  • do not exercise if blood sugar is too high (above 16mmol/l)
  • always take fast sugars with you (such as grape sugar/dextrose, syrup/sports drink)
  • if blood sugar is too low, take 20 g of fast sugars
  • take 15-30 g of fast sugars per half hour during heavy exercise and drink 1.5 -2 L per hour.
  • Measure your blood sugar regularly.

So keep a close eye on whether you get symptoms of a hypo or hyper during and after exercise.

Have fun with exercising!

Source: blogpost originally from Nutri-Health

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