Can people with diabetes exercise?

Moderate exercise is essential for everyone, including people with diabetes. Moreover, regular exercise helps to manage diabetes: it reduces weight, has a positive effect on the body’s sensitivity to insulin, and makes blood vessels more “hardy”. But sports are also different – some run enough, while others have little parachute jumps. Is it possible to live with diabetes and not give up your favorite sport? Let’s figure it out.

In general, sports are not prohibited for people with diabetes. But there are nuances that should be taken into account when planning classes. And the most important of them is understanding your sugars and the ability to manage them. To do this, it is important to regularly use a glucometer or continuous blood glucose monitoring in order to understand what and how affects your sugars.

To keep sports safe learn to control your diabetes outside of exercise.

How does sport affect the body of a person with type 1 diabetes ?

It is possible and necessary to play sports with type 1 diabetes, but it is extremely important to understand how your body will react to this.

During exercise , working muscles need more nutrition – glucose. They get it from the blood thanks to the “key” – insulin. In a person without diabetes, the pancreas can independently change the amount of insulin that will appear in the body – in order to maintain the right amount of glucose in the blood. But the insulin that a person injects from the outside cannot stop acting – muscle cells will receive glucose from the blood, even if it is already critically low there. And this can cause hypoglycemia .

But another situation is also possible. There are types of exercises that increase the production of contrainsular hormones (which block the work of insulin), which can cause blood glucose levels to rise significantly (for example, adrenaline, cortisol, etc. ), which means that the athlete must know how to prevent hyperglycemia and adjust sugar to normal . These include, for example, sprinting, strength exercises, rock climbing, skydiving, etc. Also, for people on insulin therapy, sharp jumps in blood glucose levels can be dangerous.

And yet, many people with diabetes successfully play sports, including professionally. After all, the main thing is to learn how to manage your sugars during sports – this is quite possible!

How does sport affect the body of a person with type 2 diabetes ?

For people with type 2 diabetes, sports or physical education is one of the components of diabetic compensation. Even not very intense, but regular training “burns” fat and helps to reduce body weight. Also, physical activity affects the very mechanism of the development of type 2 diabetes – it increases the sensitivity of cells to insulin, improves lipid (fat) metabolism.

Given that people with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have comorbidities, it’s best to check with your doctor about the intensity of your exercise. It is necessary to start playing sports, but it is always better with less intense types: walking, cycling, yoga, table tennis, etc.

General recommendations

  • Learn to understand your body outside of physical activity.
  • Measure your blood sugar before, during and after your workout.
  • Drink plenty of fluids before and during your workout.
  • chafing , blisters or sores on the feet .
  • Plan your exercise by reducing insulin or antidiabetic drugs in advance – people with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes can experience hypoglycemia during exercise!
  • Always keep on hand something that can quickly increase your blood glucose if necessary: sugar water, juice, dextrose, etc.
  • Tell your trainer and/or those you train with that you have diabetes and how they should act if you have hypoglycemia. If you practice on your own, wear a special bracelet “I have diabetes”

Control your well-being! If you feel any discomfort in the heart area, headache, dizziness or shortness of breath during exercise, stop exercising immediately and consult a doctor.

Consider these recommendations – and your sports activities will be safe and enjoyable. Do not forget that physical activity helps to maintain normal glucose levels, energizes, good mood and helps to control weight. And all of these are key points for living with diabetes.

Write in the comments what sport do you choose and how do you deal with sugars during exercise ?

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