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Working Out with T1DM

Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus (T1DM) can be challenging to say the least. Counting carbs and insulin injections are hard enough, so bringing exercise into the equation can seem like an impossible (or at least annoyingly difficult) obstacle. We can help. Exercising with T1DM is not as hard as you think.

Is exercise ok for people who have Type 1 Diabetes (T1DM)?

Yes! In fact, physical activity is very important and necessary for those diagnosed with T1DM.

What are the benefits of exercise for a person with T1DM?

Exercise helps to improve blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity, which directly affect T1DM.

Cholesterol levels, blood pressure, blood clotting, and stress also improve with exercise. These are all risk factors for cardiovascular disease. By improving these biomarkers, a person with T1DM can decrease their chances of getting cardiovascular disease.

Exercise can also provide an overall better quality of life.

What should someone with T1DM be aware of before exercising?

Someone with T1DM should be aware that exercising improves insulin sensitivity and can lead to a dangerously low drop in blood sugar levels.

To prevent hypoglycemia, test your blood sugar before exercising, and based on the level, you can react by eating a specific amount of carbohydrates (usually 15 grams).

Individuals with T1DM should also be aware that if they have ketones in their urine, it is a warning that blood sugar is too low for exercise.

Another problem someone with T1DM may face is a drop in blood sugar levels during unplanned activity or exercise that is long in duration. Carrying a carbohydrate source at all times can help prevent this problem. Glucose tablets, gels, and energy bars are good sources of quick carbs.

To make a virtual appointment with a Registered Dietitian, go to


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