So, do you ever have trouble with you sugar levels while exercising? Don’t feel bad, it happens to every single one of us. Your sugar level matters a lot when you are going to be doing any kind of physical activity. Most importantly, its going to impact how you feel during your exercise. If you feel great, you might want to exercise for a longer period of time; or you just might feel like going all out and making your workout very intense! On the other hand, suffering from a very high sugar level is no good. You could get cramps during exercise, or not get anywhere close to your maximum potential for your workout at all. Not reaching your maximum potential is no good, as I would consider it nearly waisted training. Regardless, taking the necessary precautions and planning ahead can make or break your workout.
Taking Precautions for Your Workout
How you feel during your workout will depend on a few variables, here are a few of them to go ahead and get you started thinking about them:
- How Intense Your Workout is going to be
- How long you are going to be exercising
- How is your glucose level 2 hours prior to exercising; check again at 1 hour and once more at 30 minutes
- How your glucose levels change while exercising (Knowing this is a learning process)
These are the four most important elements of exercising with diabetes. Knowing how intense your workout is going to be is going to determine how you treat your insulin intake during workouts. This is due to several factors. First, if it is going to be a short intense workout, your sugars are probably going to elevate during the workout. This is important to know because if you do not know this upon finishing your workout and check your sugar realizing it is very high; you should not be “bolusing” for this. With the short intense period of activity skyrocketing your glucose levels, this is only going to be temporary. Your sugars will soon come down on their own. If you take insulin for this high sugar level, then you are going to be really low. I have made this mistake a time or two myself, and my sugar has gotten all the way down in the 50’s which is no good at all.
On the other hand, with longer less intense “endurance” activities, you need to keep a constant check on your blood sugar to make sure that it does not get to low. You could suffer very sever consequences during your workout if your blood sugar gets to low. In my personal opinion, having a sugar that is too low during an exercise is much more dangerous than being to high.
How to Prevent Your Sugar from getting to low: Keep a constant check with your monitoring device; monitor ever 45 minutes – 1 hour
When glucose is nearing 100, and on a downward trend take in some nutrition. Examples of nutrition are as follows:
- Energy Gel / Powerbar
- Electrolyte Drink
- Sugary Soft Drink such as Coca-cola or Pepsi
These are the necessary precautions to take during exercising to ensure that you never get a low glucose level during physical activity. Also, make sure that your sugar is not on a downward trend to go below 100 before exercising to. In case it is, then take in some nutrition before performing exercise.
Your healthcare team is the most important thing to help utilize in your glucose management. They know your formulas, how your body is reacting to insulin, and have a much better idea in knowing how your sugar could react to physical activity then this guide could ever explain. Use them to help you find out what nutrition works best for you, and what kind of exercise you need to be doing. This guide just lays down a baseline to get you started in the world of exercising with diabetes.