Tailor-Made Training To Suit Your Diabetes Condition

Exercise is so powerful it’s almost like taking medicine. But a prescription that works for you won’t be ideal for everybody with diabetes. That’s why it’s important to work with your doctor to customize your exercise plan to fit your circumstances, starting with which kind of diabetes you have and how you’re treating it now.

Whichever strategy you choose, you’ll want to bring blood sugar down — but not too far. To keep close tabs on it, test an hour before your workout, then again a half hour later to find out if your levels are rising or falling. If they’re falling and on the low side, you may want to eat about 15 grams of carbohydrate before you start exercising. If your blood sugar is high and rising, you may need more insulin. Once your blood sugar becomes more stable, your doctor may allow you to monitor less often, but self-testing following a workout is always a good idea. The readings you get will help clarify how exercise should work into your overall diabetes-management plan, which will vary from one situation to the next.

People with type 1 diabetes need to approach exercise with extra caution. If you work out too soon after taking insulin, the glucose-lowering tag team of insulin plus exercise can be too much of a good thing and lower your blood sugar to dangerous levels. On the flip side, having too little insulin in your blood while you exercise can make blood sugar build up and potentially cause ketoacidosis. To ensure your safety, check with your doctor about taking steps like the following:

Avoid peak hours. Try to time your workout so that you’re not exercising when insulin activity peaks, often within the first hour or two of an injection, depending on which type you use.

Adjust your dose. You may be able to drop your daily insulin requirements by as much as 20 to 30 percent if you cutyour dose before a workout. Ask your doctor how much of an adjustment to make based on your current dosage and how hard you exercise — then be sure to actually do your workout.

Exercise after eating. You’re less likely to be hit by hypoglycemia if you wait to work out until an hour or two after a meal, when your blood sugar will be naturally high and plenty of glucose will be on hand to fuel your muscles.

Inject into the abdomen. Problem: If you inject insulin into muscles you’ll be using, they will absorb it faster and send your blood sugar plummeting. Solution: Unless you’re going straight into sit-ups, inject into the softer folds of your midsection. If you’re working your abs, wait to exercise until about an hour after your injection to give the insulin a chance to disperse throughout the body.

Have a snack. Eating a small, low-fat snack containing about 20 grams of carbohydrate (two rolled fruit snacks, for example) during your workout can help keep blood sugar from falling too low, especially during vigorous exercise or workout sessions lasting an hour or more.

Want to stay smart and healthy?

Get our weekly Health Reads newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you the newsletter each week, and we may also send you occasional special offers from Reader's Digest. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.

From clientsfromhell.net

Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.

Fields marked with an * are required
Foods That Harm Foods That HealWant a Free eBook?
FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL offers important information about the role diet plays in the struggle against heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other serious illnesses. Answer the question below to receive your FREE digital eBook.

Someone in my household experiences the following conditions:

Send me a link to download FOODS THAT HARM, FOODS THAT HEAL:
By clicking below, I agree to the Trusted Media Brands Privacy Policy