• People with diabetes can still exercise as they would like to, you just have to be more careful.
  • If possible, try to do one hour of exercise daily.
  • Talk to your doctor about your regular exercise and what you should do during exercise. It may work for some people to eat before or not give insulin, but other people may not be as sensitive.
  • The type of exercise that you do also is important. Cardio exercise (example: running, rugby, etc.) instead of muscular exercise (example: lifting things) will affect your sugar differently.
  • When at school it should be planned after lunch if possible.
  • Always take your blood sugar meter with you and check your blood sugar before, during and after exercise.
  • A starting blood sugar of 110-180 is good.
  • If your blood sugar is 300 mg must check urine for ketones and if positive DO NOT exercise. It may result in diabetes ketoacidosis and coma.
  • Dehydration is common so for a mild exercise like walking for 45 minutes drinking water is fine.
  • For high intensity exercise like running, biking, cricket, basketball, etc. drinking Gatorade or other liquids which have carbohydrates and electrolytes are good.
  • Always take 15 gms of carbohydrates before starting exercise for a blood sugar of 90-125. For further instructions for a specific exercise please discuss with your doctor or diabetes educator.
  • Always remember some people can get delayed hypoglycemia anytime during the 24 hrs. after the exercise.


Information and images from www.penpalsunited.org are from or inspired by Living the Sweet Life with Diabetes: The Art of balancing insulin, diet, and exercise by Dr. Santosh Gupta, MD, MRCP (UK), CDE.  You can access the book here: http://manavseva.org/downloads/book-english.pdf

The Penpals United website does not contain medical advice.  Any contents of this website, such as text, graphics, images, and other material, are intended for informational and educational purposes only and not for the purpose of rendering medical advice.  Such contents are not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.