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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How do different types of exercise affect your BSLs?

    I have type 1 diabetes and struggle to manage my BSLs post exercise. I am often finding that jogging effects my sugars differently to say swimming. Is this all in my head or a reality?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • Matt Tinski

    Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer

    Matt offers professional advice for introducing and / or fine tuning exercise for weight loss and has assisted many clients with various chronic illnesses to … View Profile


    Monitoring your heart rate during different forms of exercise will help you learn how intense or glycogen hungry the activity is… the higher the heart rate, the higher a metabolic demand you are putting on your body.

    This does not mean to stop, it means you can learn how to minimise risk by knowing how hard you are working.

  • Kate Marsh

    Credentialled Diabetes Educator (CDE), Diabetes Educator, Dietitian

    Kate works with clients with type 1 and gestational diabetes, PCOS, and those following a plant-based (vegetarian or vegan) diet. As a diabetes educator, she … View Profile

    You are right that this can be difficult and can vary from one individual to another so certainly not in your head  There are many different factors which can influence how exercise affects your blood glucose levels when you have type 1 diabetes, including the type of exercise you are doing, the duration and intensity of your exercise, the time of day you are exercising and the timing of the exercise in relation to your insulin injections and meals.  So even with the same type of exercise you may get a different response if you are doing it before a meal compared to in the few hours after a meal when your insulin is acting at it's peak (and BGLs are more likely to drop).  Testing your BGLs regularly before and after different exercise at different times of the day can help you to work out some patterns.  It could be worthwhile seeking the advice of an exercise physiologist with experience in type 1 diabetes or a diabetes educator to help you with this.  You may also find the following website set up by an exercise physiologist who has type 1, helpful.

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