March 22, 2012

Exercise at the gym with Type 1 Diabetes

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It’s paradoxical that exercise is nonnegotiable with diabetes. With type 1 diabetes you invariably run the risk of having a low. When exercising this risk is multiplied.

A study was conducted on people with type 1 diabetes to determine how certain types of exercise can affect blood glucose levels. The findings show how the order of weights or cardio first impacts your sugar

Researchers from the University of Calgary evaluated 12 fit people with type 1 diabetes. These volunteers already ran and lifted weights at least three times per week. The average age of the 10 men and 2 women was 32 years old.

The group participated in two experimental exercise sessions, held at least 5 days apart at around 5pm in the afternoon. For the first session, the study volunteers performed 45 minutes of running on a treadmill followed by 45 minutes of weight lifting. For the second session, they reversed the order. Blood sugar levels were measured before, during and after the workouts.

The results were enlightening. The muscles pull glucose out of the blood for energy during cardio exercise. When the participants did the cardiovascular workout first, they experienced a more severe drop in blood sugar levels than when they trained with weights first. When lifting weights first, blood sugar levels remained above the minimum threshold for someone with type 1 diabetes. Furthermore, levels remained above the threshold for longer periods of time after the workout was completed.

Note to South Park: I blame Canada in a good way for the findings of this study!

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