Working out is a great form of exercise to maintain your health if you have type 1 diabetes. But it is important to understand that you must pay close attention to your blood glucose levels and change the way you manage your insulin injections when you work out. Obviously, when you are working out intensely, you will lower your blood sugar levels significantly.
The result of the heavy and sudden burning of calories that occurs when you work out can lead to hypoglycemia if you take the same amount of insulin that you would take on a day filled with less physically demanding activities. But, because you have type 1 diabetes, you will probably still have to take some insulin to keep your blood glucose from getting out of control. So it is all about balancing how much insulin you need to take with how intense your workout is.
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As you test yourself, you'll find that you'll need to make a measured reduction of insulin on days when you work out. At least a slight reduction in insulin may be necessary to prevent hyperglycemia. There are many factors that go into determining how much you'll need to reduce your insulin, so finding your correct blood glucose and insulin balance will be different than what other type 1 diabetics find. It will take some trial and error to get it right, but always remember to error on the side of caution.
Other Balancing Factors for Blood Glucose While Working Out
There is more you can do to balance your blood glucose than just changing your insulin dosage. You can also eat extra carbohydrates before and during exercise. This will help to keep your blood glucose steady. This is probably a better option for type 1 diabetics than type 2 diabetics.
Some people suggest injecting the insulin in those areas you will be working out. Since those parts of the body will be burning the most blood sugar, injecting insulin there may make some sense. For example, if you are going to go for a run, you might want to put the insulin in your legs to make the insulin activate more quickly. Since one line of thinking is that you want to put the insulin where the body is most stressed, you may want to try injecting your insulin that way.
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