What you should pay attention to when doing sports
In the summer, when the days are long and warm, even those who normally do not like sports are drawn outside. Outdoor exercise improves everyones state of health, regardless of whether or not you have diabetes. What effects does sport have on glucose levels and what should you pay attention to?
More stamina, more agility and a better shape: sport makes you fit and raises your self-confidence. Additionally, exercise has a positive effect on the cardiovascular system, lowers blood pressure and improves circulation. These effects are also true for people with diabetes. Regular exercise increases metabolism too.
In what way does regular exercise have a long-term positive influence on the glucose level?
- Long-term, glucose uptake into the muscles improves, which increases insulin sensitivity.
- Most of the glucose is consumed in the muscles, which is why the basic insulin requirement decreases overall.
Prevent hypoglycaemia during exercise.
Since exercise causes glucose levels to drop, there is a risk of hypoglycaemia.
Take the following measures to avoid hypoglycaemia:
- Discuss with your doctor or healthcare professional beforehand if your diabetes therapy needs to be adjusted during exercise.
- Measure your glucose level before, during and after exercise.
- Always carry an emergency pack of fast-acting carbohydrates (e.g. dextrose or banana) and slow-acting carbohydrates (e.g. muesli bars or whole grain bread).
- If your glucose level is too low during exercise: take fast-acting and slow-acting carbohydrates and do not start exercising again until your glucose level has normalised.
- Watch out for signs of hypoglycaemia for the next two days after exercise as during this time exercise can still have after-effects.
If you wear an insulin pump, you have the advantage that you can adjust your insulin flexibly and at relatively short notice: insulin pumps offer the possibility of lowering the basal rate percentage over a period of time without changing the original profile.
Important: Caution is also required when glucose levels are too high. If glucose levels are too high and you have tested positive for ketones, you must not exercise.
Exercise regularly and incorporate movement into your everyday life.
The most important thing for effective training is regularity. It is better to do shorter workouts more regularly than long, irregular workouts. Exercise at least three times a week for half an hour to an hour. Pay attention to balance, i.e.: combine stamina, strength and agility training. In addition to your fitness programme, try to incorporate as much exercise as possible into your everyday life: taking stairs instead of a lift, walking or riding a bicycle instead of a car, etc.
Anyone who exercises regularly notices how it has a positive effect not only physically but, thanks to its stress busting qualities, psychologically too.
We wish you a beautiful, active and stress-free summer!