Working out with diabetes..


This post is a little late in the day but I figured, what the heck. :)

Recently I have been exercising a lot more, and it’s been great. Only it took some tweaking before getting to this point of awesomeness. I was about to throw in the towel a few weeks ago. It was pure frustration really.

For the past month or two I have made it a point to walk, for now, about 1-2 miles a day. The problem was that I would check my blood glucose before venturing out, it’d be a nice leveled number, then I’d come home and I would check again only to find my blood glucose hanging out in the 200’s plus. Then, for the rest of the day I’d stay low/steady. I just didn’t understand why I was running so high after working out. I mean isn’t exercise supposed to be good for me and the ol’ D? Then I came across a few articles that stated a reason for all of the shenanigans. So simple. While working out your body is releasing glucose into your bloodstream, you know, the energy you need to be active, therefore the more exercise you do the more glucose is being released into your muscles to get the job done. After reading that, and consulting my physician, I began upping my “fast acting” insulin shot, I’m on MDI, right before my walk/run/workout and that has sorted everything out. Craziness.

For example, if I check my blood glucose before my morning workout and it is in the 160’s I automatically have to correct because my goal number is 130. I take that correction injection and if I plan to workout right away I also take two extra units. Now, this can result in some funkiness (great medical term, right?) if I take those extra units and then decide not to workout because then I have too much insulin and not enough carbs/glucose to cover it. Otherwise it works out just fine. If my fasting bg is lower than 130 I usually try to ride the workout through and hope that I don’t spike. Which hasn’t happened, yet. So far so good.

Seems a bit overwhelming, right?


Perhaps I am not explaining myself very well either. In any case, I have stuck with this routine now for about a week and my post workout blood glucose has been great. Significantly lower than my fasting one or it remains steady. Now, of course, I don’t recommend this for everyone. I consulted my family doctor and she gave the approval.

However, now I am left wondering if I am the only one who has dealt with this.

Have you needed more or less insulin when working out?


11 thoughts on “Working out with diabetes..

  1. What I have noticed with my blood sugars is that If I do cardio (running, elliptical, walking for more than 30 min, etc.) my blood sugars stay steady or drop. But if I do any weight lifting my sugars usually rise. I use a insulin pump with Humalog so if I do cardio I take the pump off completely and if lifting weights I give myself an extra bolus and take it off or just keep it on with a higher basal rate. But it does depend on many factors such as when I last ate, where I am in my monthly cycle, stress levels. and so on. Hope this helps!

  2. B says:

    The exact opposite for me (T1 for 14 years), but I know another T1 who has the exact same results as you when he exercises! I thought he was making it up, or eating too many carbs before working out. But I guess he was telling the truth! :) Wondering what articles you found so that I can send the info to him…?

    • Hi there. Yeah, I have met a few T1’s who go through this when working out. Though it seems like more of a phenomenon. I will look those articles up and post them for you. I apologize for taking so long to comment back. :)

  3. If I exercise, cardio, in the morning I do notice I spike up into the 200’s. But, if I do my cardio after dinner I tend to stay normal if not a bit lower but that same night I wake up around 2am with hypoglycemia. I have a doc appointment in a week or 2 and I plan on talking to my doctor.

  4. Beth says:

    Totally get your frustration!! Spent a while trying to juggle shift work with diabetes and struggled a lot, then tried to add in some exercise thinking it would help, not good!!! better now though…. Recently got a copy of book by Ginger Viera called “your diabetes science experiment” which covers loads of stuff really well but especially exercise, really really recommend it!!

  5. I always have to adjust my insulin dose with an new exercise plan. My blood sugar drops in the middle of the night which is 8-10 hour after I exercise. I always recover with a protein shake to insure I do not crash after.

    • I never thought about needing to adjust until I recently noticed this trend of spiking afterwards. Very frustrating. It’s all about finding that balance though I suppose. I don’t plan on letting anything stop the workouts. I was thinking about trying protein shakes after a workout. I spike and then stay very low the rest of the day.

  6. Welcome to my world! Haha, not really but I work out every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings, usually around the same time and I always go UP! But on Sundays when I do long runs, I always drop low-makes no sense but my advice is try to eliminate as many variables as possible, like I’ve been trying to run at the same time and make adjustments accordingly. Good luck!

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