Get Out There – The Must-know Exercise Tips

3/26/18
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Beyond Type 1 hosted the Get Out There – Exercise for Every Type Panel at The 2018 Bay Area Diabetes Summit where expert athletes and beginners alike got to share their experiences and success stories around working out. So whether you are just getting started or are looking to increase the intensity of your workouts, here is the helpful advice our panel had to share! *If you want to watch the full panel – click here.

Getting started!

“The biggest piece of advice I have about exercise is to start. Exercise is known as a keystone habit. If you can start exercising a lot of things happen to fall inline in your life. When you start exercising you eat better because your body demands it. You sleep better. Your stress levels also tend to go down. The biggest thing to consider is just start.”

– Leo Shveyd, trainer and owner of Advanced Wellness gym

“When you start out, it’s really important to listen to your body. It’s a trial and error thing. It can help to have community support as well and make sure you’re held accountable by something.”

Mary Lucas, 2017 TCS New York City Marathon runner with Beyond Type 1

“Just be patient, especially if you are new to running, whether or not you came from the athletic background. It will take time to increase your workouts.”

– Sean McPherson, ultra trail marathoner

Fueling and blood sugar management

“For fueling, it is important to find something long-acting enough. Whether it’s peanut butter or UCAN that is a super starch that is slow digesting. It helps me form dipping low. I found this through a lot of trial and error.”

– Mary Lucas, 2017 TCS New York City Marathon runner with Beyond Type 1

“Maintain the log when you workout: what that meal is and the duration of your workout. Also log what your blood sugar in post workout and what supplements you’re taking, especially if they have caffeine in them. Write down how your body reacts to them.”

– John Lynn, competitive bodybuilder

“We all have the capacity to experiment in the kitchen and finds foods that work for us. Find a food that works for you. For me, oatmeal is what I have been a long workout.”

– Kirby McKinnon, hiker with a Master of Public Health degree

“I sip Tang in a water bottle and that keeps me steady. I have a problem with lows after working out, so sipping on Tang helps.”

– Katie Teschler, manager of the Trail Stewardship Program with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

“If I eat something 3-4 hours before I run then I have fuel and little insulin in my system. Depending on where your blood sugar is before you start running, add a little carbohydrate. Especially for high intensity I can eat closer to the workout so I don’t worry about going low because adrenaline can keep you higher too.”

– Sean McPherson, ultra trail marathoner

“I might half my bolus and just eat a little more than usual before a long workout.”

-Katie Teschler, manager of the Trail Stewardship Program with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Low snack ideas

  • Honey
  • Dates
  • Gummy bears
  • Gels
  • Cliff shots
  • Juice
  • Honey Stinger products
  • Glucose tabs

Ketones and why you should check for them

“Someone told me to pack my ketone strips on my climb. I was in range the whole climb (of Mount Whitney) but by the time we got to the base of the summit I felt weird and both my devices had failed (pump and CGM). I tested my ketones and they were moderate to high so knew I had to sit out. Ketones strips are so good to have and a reminder sometimes that we need to slow down and know our limits.

– Kirby McKinnon, hiker with a Master of Public Health degree

“During the NYC marathon my cgm failed the night before and mile 13 my pump ripped out. Even though I was only at 200, I was literally throwing up, it was because I didn’t have enough insulin onboard. So it felt counter-intuitive but I needed insulin. As a cautionary tale, never workout if you have ketones.”

Mary Lucas, 2017 TCS New York City Marathon runner with Beyond Type 1

“There are many reasons why the body generates ketones. A very lean person can generate ketones first thing in the morning just by that fast that occurs during sleep. They aren’t moderate to large but they are ketones. They are actually a life-saving mechanism when the body is starved for carbs and you don’t have enough insulin onboard. The body breaks down fat and protein as a source of energy when you don’t have enough glucose. Your blood has a narrow tolerance of how you function with acid in your blood. It can be an ICU level of care if you have ketones. You can have them in a target blood sugar range. Any time you feel sick or nauseous, you check ketones and drink plenty of fluids to flush them out.”

Monica Mueller, pediatric nurse and physical therapist

Managing Type 1 in the wild

“I recommend going over the tech that you are using like devices and how to use glucagon. In the past I haven’t communicated well so I would recommend that you talk to them about signs of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia. I also don’t go ‘off trail.’ I choose a specific one and prepare for it.”

– Kirby McKinnon, hiker with a Master of Public Health degree

“I used to carry so much juice and as time went on, I learned from diabetic friends to carry honey packets or gummy bears. My juices would burst in my bag. Sugarmate or DexcomSHARE can help with letting others know how you are doing while working out.”

– Katie Teschler, manager of the Trail Stewardship Program with the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy

“I am out there quite regularly. You can’t be scared, but you have to be prepared and smart about it. Don’t be reckless. I did 40 miles and carried everything with me. Know what potential issues might be. Pack syringes if your pump stops working, for example.”

– Sean McPherson, ultra trail marathoner

“Let someone know where you are exercising and when you plan to get back.”

Monica Mueller, pediatric nurse and physical therapist


Read more on Exercise with Type 1 diabetes.