Fitness training: ADA recommends

The American Diabetes Association gives good advice on how to avoid low blood glucose (hypoglycemia) during exercise.

Blood glucose measurement

Timing: Exercise 1 to 3 hours after a meal. Blood glucose is at its highest.

Insulin peak: Don't exercise when your insulin injection is peaking. If using rapid-acting or regular insulin, this means avoiding sports in the first 1 to 2 hours after injection.

Adam Morrison

Insulin absorption: Exercise increases blood flow, which speeds up how fast insulin works.

Duration and intensity: If your activity is moderate to high intensity, or if it's moderate and long, consider decreasing the insulin dose that's working while you exercise.

Blood glucose response: Build up knowledge and experience of how your blood glucose responds to different types of exercise. Monitor blood glucose (BG) often: before, during, and after activity.

Insulin injection

BG stable or dropping: If you are going to be doing demanding exercise for a long time, check your BG 1 hour before you begin, then check 30 minutes before to find out if your blood glucose is stable or falling.

Eating during exercise: you might need to eat during or after sporting activity if you work out hard, or if it lasts longer than an hour.

Length of BG reaction: You can have a blood glucose reaction up to 24 hours after exercise, depending on how hard or long your workout.

FAST FACTS

Clear, accurate answers to your diabetes questions

1: What is type 1 diabetes (T1DM)?

2: Why is insulin important in the body?

3: What does glucose do in the body?

4: When was insulin invented?

5: Why is low blood sugar a problem?

6: Why is high blood sugar a problem?

7: What causes low blood sugar?

8: What causes high blood sugar

9: Is there a cure for type 1 diabetes?

10: Explain diabetes to a young kid

Fitness coaching for diabetes

Fit4D diabetes coaching

In 2006, following his diagnosis for T1DM, endurance athlete David Weingard founded Fit4D, a company providing personalized diabetes coaching. His staff includes Certified Diabetes Educators, fitness coaches, nutritionists, and nurses.

David Weingard began running at age fifteen. He raced in his first marathon at 17. In his early 30s, he started taking part in triathlons and completed an Ironman.

In 2000, at 36, he was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. His doctor discouraged him taking part in another Ironman. Doctors focus on treating illness, says Weingard, not completing endurance events.

Weingard wanted to continue being active. He started to train for his first postdiagnosis Ironman, simulating the experience in a 50-page document.

He says, I figured out what it’s like to go in the pool at exactly the time the race would start, to test myself during the swim, then to come out and see how much insulin I needed to take. I learned what my routine would be every single hour.

I learned that putting that plan into action wasn’t that simple. I had to find people to learn from (doctors, nurses, nutritionists, exercise physiologists and other people with diabetes). As committed as I was to the plan, I found it very challenging to pull it all off while balancing my diabetes, job, family and life in general.

He also wanted to reach out to the diabetic community and take part in the search for a cure. In 2003 and 2005, he raced Ironman triathlons (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile run) and raised money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) New York City Chapter.

Weingard says, I received tremendous media exposure and along the way learned from the hundreds of people with diabetes who contacted me from around the world how my efforts inspired and brought them positive energy in their lives.

He was in the Denver airport on the way to race his second Ironman triathlon when he came on the idea of using the internet to provide access to CDE-certified nutritionists, exercise physiologists, and nurses.

In 2006, he started Fitness4Diabetics.com, which provides fitness coaching for people with diabetes. He has hundreds of subscribers and a team of nurses, exercise physiologists and dieticians.

Weingard says, Like any good coaches, we'll provide motivation and support. And, we'll coach you wherever you choose: in your home, your gym, a nearby park, or a favorite restaurant.

By David Hay Jones

Thanks to Kerri Morrone Sparling for her excellent blog and interview with David Weingard.