Diabetes and Exercise


Exercise is key to a healthy lifestyle. You should always consult your doctor before engaging in strenuous exercise to be sure you are physically able though.

T1D management for athletes is unique to the individual and depends on many variables including the sport, athlete’s health needs, length and duration of training, upcoming competitions, etc. The primary risks of physical activity for the T1D athlete are essentially two:

To prepare for hypoglycemia, keep at least 15-20g of fast-acting carbohydrates on hand at all times. Also note that the risk for hypoglycemia is higher if you skip a meal or exercise strenuously or for a long duration. Aerobic exercise, such as jogging, tends to drive blood glucose down.

Certain high-intensity or anaerobic exercises, such as weight lifting, can increase blood glucose. The bottom line is that you need to listen to your body, check your blood glucose often, and look for patterns to help you adjust routines.

Find out the reasons for hyperglycemia and how you can have better blood sugar control while working out. Discover the benefits of anaerobic exercise (or weight lifting). Learn how to safely lose weight with Type 1. Exercise in general may increase insulin sensitivity and aid in overall better diabetes management. Peruse Beyond Type 1’s exercise resources before you start and read inspiring personal stories to get you motivated.




Personal Stories


Top Irish Cyclist Diagnosed with Type 1

After consulting with my healthcare provider on a diabetes management plan, including nutrition and exercise, I went home from the hospital and went cycling. After that, I decided I wasn’t going to let this obstacle stop me.READ MORE

Type 1 Training Tips from a National Champion Cyclist

One of my biggest goals is to represent my country and Team Novo Nordisk in the 2020 Olympics Games. Not only would it be the pinnacle of my athletic career, but it would also be an incredible platform to inspire, educate and empower those affected by diabetes to pursue their dreams.READ MORE


The Toughest Footrace on Earth

On March 11, 2016, Roddy Riddle, ultra-marathon runner from Scotland with Type 1 diabetes, will embark on the toughest race in the world and most certainly of his life — the 6633 Ultra Marathon of the Arctic Circle — an astounding 350-mile competition, over eight days, where competitors have to be completely self-sufficient.READ MORE

5 Tips for Running with Type 1 Diabetes

Running with diabetes hasn't always been pretty. It's been trial and error every single day. Within 10 days of my diagnosis, I had all the technology available to assist with diabetes management. READ MORE

How I Learned to Love my Body

For the first time in my life, I was okay listening to my body. I listened to it when it was in pain, or when it told me it needed a day off. READ MORE

Weight Lifting

Bolus and Barbells — Heavy Weight Champion Inspires

With very little training, Rodney competed at 210 pounds and won second place in the deadlift and first place in the bench press. He discovered that he truly enjoyed competing, and all the training and nutrition changes had greatly improved his blood glucose control.READ MORE

Party Animal Turned Physique Competitor

I've been Type 1 diabetic for 18 years, which has had its ups and downs. My control over the last 6 years has been good due to exercise and nutrition education, but it wasn't always that way.READ MORE

Type 1 Powerlifter Redefines “Disability”

As far as personal fitness accomplishments, Chris currently holds four state records for powerlifting, and is on track to become a pro Powerlifter. "I can deadlift 606 pounds which is almost 3.5 times my body weight — even with only one fully functional hand." READ MORE

Dance + Gymnastics

What It’s Like To Be a Ballerina with Type 1

I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes during my sophomore year of high school, which was the biggest year for my dance career so far.READ MORE

Dancing in the Macy’s Day Parade

Herald Square was not meant to be a stage. It felt strange; instead of being surrounded by spotlights and curtains, I was standing in the middle of New York City, in nothing but a dance costume.READ MORE

A Gymnast Superstar Lands on Her Feet

Gymnastics, just like diabetes management, requires hard work, commitment and perseverance. Gymnastics is my life and everyday I work through tough times until I reach the top. That’s what makes a champion.READ MORE


The 5 Go-to Yoga Practices that Saved my Life

I discovered that Yoga is more than a good stretch. It’s a tree with many branches, each limb a path back to harmony and balance, a way to mitigate stress.READ MORE

M is for Meditation

Have you ever wondered what all the fuss is about with meditation? Or have you told yourself you’re too busy to give it a try? Well I’ll let you on in on a secret.READ MORE

Striving for a Personal Best

When I joined my first Facebook group, I tried to remember my yoga training. But it was hard. Just like balancing on one leg is near impossible so is managing diabetes. READ MORE

Surfing + Swimming

Swimming On Insulin

A few weeks ago I wrote a letter called “Dear Diabetes.” An incredibly positive response followed that story and lots of people asked about my diabetes management during practices and meets. Hopefully this helps a little bit!READ MORE


Fitness Now with T1D

I often became overwhelmed with frustration that I had to fight for one-tenth of the energy I once had. I no longer had the same endurance, strength or drive to push myself to maintain my strict exercise and diet. READ MORE

I went from “I can’t walk” to “I’m cycling to Paris”

Two days into taking insulin with no clue of what was to come next, I signed up for a 3-day event cycling from London to Paris in September 2016. At the time I had lost significant weight, had no muscle definition, was still struggling to walk, had no confidence and most importantly, I did not even own a bike (What was I thinking?! #Madness.)READ MORE