Don’t let diabetes stop you!

Living with diabetes can often feel like a bit of a numbers game, since you’re constantly trying to balance out blood sugars that are influenced by food choices, stress, sleep, insulin doses, or other medications. Many people feel like exercise is just one more complicated influence on blood sugars, leading to more lows or more highs. It can sometimes feel like exercise just isn’t worth it if you’re going to have to deal with the blood sugar roller coaster later on.

The problem with this kind of thinking is that we easily forget how GREAT exercise and physical activity can be for us! Forget diabetes – enjoying regular activity means stress relief, social time with friends or family, better sleep quality, higher energy levels, and probably some benefits we haven’t even figured out yet.

If you are starting to consider giving exercise another chance, but are hesitating because of blood sugar reasons, then this end-of-summer series is going to be just for you. We’ll go through the three ways you can prevent low blood sugars before, during, and after exercise, regardless of how you treat your diabetes (injections or pumps), as well as some important considerations related to different types of exercise and injection sites.

To get started – know your options. The three ways you can adjust your plan to avoid low blood sugars if you’re including exercise into your day can be broken down very simply:

  1. Eat carbohydrates to fuel your exercise
  2. Reduce your closest meal-time insulin dose
  3. Reduce your long-acting insulin dose

Most people use a combination of these strategies depending on their schedule, the exercise, or their own personal preference. In the next post for this series we’ll explain Ex Carbs and how you can use these to your advantage.

P.S. Looking for motivation to get started with exercise, or to keep going? Check out some neat ideas here:

Have a question for the Registered Dietitian team at Diabetes Source? Post your question in the comment section below or head over to and click on Ask the RD – your question may be featured on the JDRF blog in the future or answered on the Diabetes Source site!

Diabetes Source has a free Ask the RD service where you can submit questions about living with diabetes directly on their website.  It will be answered by the team of Registered Dietitians at LMC Diabetes & Endocrinology, who are also Certified Diabetes Educators as well as Certified Product Trainers on the insulin pumps available in Canada. LMC Diabetes & Endocrinology is the largest community-based adult diabetes centre in Canada, with offices in three provinces. Their dynamic team of diabetes educators and endocrinologists provide expert care to any person living with diabetes. They focus on empowerment and self-management through individual counseling and interactive workshops. LMC also has an innovate research program that keeps them a step ahead, advancing diabetes care worldwide.


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