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From Lapeer, Michigan, USA:

I am 19 years old and have had diabetes for about five or six years. What the best type of exercise is to keep my blood sugar in the normal range?


Exercise is an important component of good diabetes management, and your question indicates that you are aware of that. The good news is that there is no one particular exercise that can be recommended over another -- and that gives you lots of options! I encourage you to test your blood sugar before and after exercise as a way of learning what the exercise you are participating in does to your blood sugar. Varying the mode of exercise, the intensity, or the duration can affect your blood sugar response. Testing will help you learn what your own response to exercise is, and allow you to predict and therefore prevent hypoglycemia.

In general, any continuous aerobic exercise using the large muscles of your body, such as walking, running, swimming, biking, etc. will cause the body to use significantly more glucose for energy, hence lowering blood sugar. To avoid hypoglycemia in people who are prone to it, we recommend ingesting 15-30 grams of carbohydrate for each half hour of exercise. More may be needed when exercise occurs as insulin is peaking. The body will often continue to use more glucose during metabolism for hours after an exercise session. Understanding your body's response to exercise will help you manage your blood sugars, no matter what type of exercise you choose to do.


Original posting 18 Aug 2000
Posted to Exercise and Sports


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:09:12
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