Blood sugar levels are affected because sugar from the blood is used to restore those glycogen stores, which can lead to disorientation and discourage some patients from continuing an exercise regimen.
Although doctors advise diabetics to exercise, there’s been very little universal guidance on how to do it safely. Until now, that is. Researchers from Swansea University drew up a landmark agreement on how diabetics should tackle workouts, addressing everything from carbohydrate intake to the severity of workouts.
Top diabetes research groups, including the American Diabetes Association and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, have endorsed the agreement.
The researchers advise eating carbs that are low on the glycemic index 30-60 minutes before exercise.
During exercise, ensure your blood sugar levels stay within 7.0 to 10.0 mmol/l. Additionally, if levels fall below 4.0 mmol/l you should stop exercising and consume carbs and wait to continue until levels return to normal. If levels fall below 3.0 mmol/l, no exercise should be done for the rest of the day.
Levels should remain between 4.0 and 10.0 mmol/l for the first 90 minutes after exercise. The report details how much carbs should be consumed depending on the severity of your workout.
The report also details how children and adolescents with diabetes should approach exercising.