It was 3 months after my Diagnosis I finally plucked up the courage to start exercising again.
You see exercise had always been a passion of mine from 16yrs old to 21 when I was Diagnosed but having my world turned upside with all this crazy shit of Type 1 Diabetes really gave me anxiety about trying to start exercising again.
What would happen to my levels?
Would I go high?
Would I have a really bad low?
These are just a few things that kept going through my head which caused me to put off getting back to what I loved doing which was working out.
Little at the time did I know how much working out and exercising would actually help my glucose control and Diabetes management, if I could only get out of my own head.
So after 3 months, that’s exactly what I did and through a lot of trial and error, I finally got my passion and life back.
So today I want to share with you some tips on exercising as a Type 1 Diabetic through my years of tried and tested methods both on myself and my Type 1 Diabetic clients I coach.
First off I think it’s important we understand the benefits of exercise, I’m not talking about the standard things like fat loss, muscle gain, improved health, sense of wellbeing, etc I’m talking about what exercise means for us as Type 1’s.
I do truly believe that exercise is the low-hanging fruit to helping us have better glucose control, I mean even if it’s just going for a walk how much does that help your control?
Then if we throw things like weight training, cycling running, etc into the mix this just help so much with insulin-sensitive as they naturally use glucose for fuel as well as making you feel great right?
I understand these things don’t come without a cost though, the fears like I had like I mentioned at the start, “How would I manage my glucose levels with exercise”
So as I promised here’s a few tips…
1) GET DATA
By this I mean your glucose levels before during and after your activity, this will really help you start to understand what that activity causes your glucose levels to do so you can make a well-informed decision next time you do that activity.
2) TRACK EVERYTHING
Similar to tip 1, I used to keep logs and still do sometimes, in these were my glucose before my workouts, how many grams of carbs I last ate, how much insulin I gave etc.
3) UNDERSTANDING THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF EXERCISE
Exercise tends to be in 2 forms, Aerobic or Anaerobic, Aerobic would be walking jogging steady cycling pretty much anything that gets your heart rate to a steady level and that you can sustain for long durations, Anaerobic are things like HIIT sprints weight training so anything that causes a spike in your heart rate and demands short bursts of energy.
What tends to happen when us a Type 1’s do aerobic exercise is are glucose levels may drop then on the flip slide when we do anaerobic exercise we may spike, now there are exceptions to this but more offend than now this is what I’ve found.
4) BE CONFIDENT
Once you’ve exercised a few times you should have enough data and experience in knowing what to do, don’t get me wrong at times you’ll get it wrong even I do but I always think to myself “Hey what’s the worst that can happen, I go low or I go high either way I’m capable of correcting and I should hope you are as well.
These are just a few tips as I’m sure you’ll appreciate there’s a lot that goes into not only managing our glucose levels but also exercising with Type 1 Diabetes, it’s a journey and we are all learning every minute every hour and every day, never stop learning that’s my motto.
Anyway, I hope you’ve found reading this helpful and inspirational in some way but before I go here’s how you can reach out to me…
Keep up the good fight
Hey I’m Tom, I’ve been Type 1 for 13 years now and had many of ups and downs along the way. There was a point in my journey when I decided to use Type 1 Diabetes as a positive in my life so I decided to help and coach other Type 1’s to live a long and health life through great blood glucose control. I host of the Type One Movement podcast which can find links to listen below. I’ve worked with over 300 Type 1’s helping them live a healthier and better life and today I’m happy I can share part of my story and some tips with you