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By Brittany Anderson (AEP, ESSAM), Allsports Exercise Physiologist

As an exercise physiologist, I’m often asked if exercise can help manage diabetes and the answer is yes. A lot of my younger patients with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. Interestingly, type 1 diabetes is one of the most common childhood conditions, with over half of all type 1 diabetics diagnosed prior to the age of 30. [1]

Exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle for patients with type 1 diabetes. [1]

Benefits of exercising with Type 1 diabetes include:

  1. Assisting insulin to work more efficiently and help with blood glucose control
  2. Maintaining a healthy weight
  3. Lowering blood pressure
  4. Reducing the risk of heart disease
  5. Reducing stress

What Exercises Can Help Manage Type 1 Diabetes?

Some great forms of exercise for type 1 diabetics include:

  • Walking
  • Swimming
  • Cycling
  • Dancing
  • Weight training
  • Tai Chi.

An exercise program should have a clear schedule. I often recommend 30 minutes of exercise every day, which can be broken down into three easy blocks of 10 minutes.

How to Start an Exercise Program with Type 1 Diabetes

Starting an exercise program for a type 1 diabetic includes consulting your doctor before starting. Once you receive the ‘OK’, it’s important to remember to monitor your blood glucose levels before and after exercise. This will help to determine the effect of the exercise on your blood glucose levels. It is also important to have a small snack prior to exercising to ensure your blood glucose levels don’t drop too low during your exercise session.

Consulting an accredited exercise physiologist prior to commencing exercise will ensure you have an individualised, safe and effective exercise program to assist with your diabetes management.

To book an appointment with an exercise physiologist visit our website, or click here to find your local Allsports clinic. We look forward to hearing from you!

References

[1] Diabetes Australia

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