Exercising Safely with Type 1 Diabetes
Physical activity is associated with many health benefits and is an important part of any healthy lifestyle. For individuals with type 1 diabetes, exercise provides additional benefits—and its own set of risks. In this article, we'll explore the health benefits, potential risks, and general guidelines that people with type 1 diabetes should keep in mind when starting and maintaining an exercise program. *Please note that the information in this article is intended to enhance discussion with your physician. It is NOT a substitute for talking to your health care provider before you begin an exercise program, or if you experience any problems in connection with exercising.
How Exercise Benefits People with Type 1 Diabetes
In addition to all of the usual health benefits of exercise, such as weight control, stress reduction, improved muscular strength and flexibility, and reduced bone loss, a sound exercise program can also help people with type 1 diabetes better use insulin and reduce their risk of heart disease.
Exercising on a regular basis can improve the sensitivity and number of insulin receptors in the body, according to the American Council on Exercise; this in turn helps train your muscles to use insulin better. These improvements in insulin utilization may lead to a decrease in insulin requirements for some individuals, but because people with type 1 diabetes are unable to make any insulin, no amount of exercise will ever eliminate the need for insulin injections.
People with type 1 diabetes are at an increased risk for heart attack, stroke, and other cardiovascular Continue reading