Exercise Guidance - Type 1

I get Diabetes journals in my RSS feed, and this is one that I thought informative, at least for me. The article is about all forms of diabetes, but there are especially relevant conclusions for Type 1’s:

Some findings:

There is some evidence that people with type 1 diabetes may experience more tangible health benefits, and with less hypoglycemia, by adhering to mild to moderate endurance training if they tend to exercise earlier in the day. In contrast, individuals with type 1 diabetes who exercise in the afternoon may find that HIIT or resistance training is more beneficial than endurance exercise in managing glucose variability. However, these results are not as apparent in individuals with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.


For people with type 1 diabetes, the variables influencing glycemia are somewhat more complex. Postmeal endurance exercise is generally beneficial from a glucose-lowering perspective, but it is important to consider a heightened risk of hypoglycemia. Thus, the duration and intensity of endurance activity should be adjusted accordingly in type 1 diabetes. Conversely, if hypoglycemia is a concern, premeal endurance exercise or HIIT or resistance training performed at any point pre- or postmeal may be beneficial for individuals with type 1 diabetes. Regardless of exercise timing, CGM and carbohydrate snacking based on glucose trends is recommended in people with type 1 diabetes.


Interesting paper, thank you! Overall I am not sure the conclusions will hold up to future widespread use of closed loop pumps by Type 1’s. Time will tell. I find the Omnipod 5 provides flexibility in exercise timing that was more difficult to manage with MDI or conventional pumping.

The paper describes “exercise snacking” which is new to me. It is described as “ a protocol of three short, discrete exercise sessions, one before each meal, to help control postprandial glucose levels in individuals with prediabetes. Each exercise snack session was only 19 minutes in total length. Sessions consisted of a 5-minute walking warmup, six 1-minute sets of inclined walking on a treadmill (at ∼90% of the individual’s maximal heart rate) with a 1-minute walking or mild resistance exercise recovery between sets, and a 3-minute walking cooldown.”

While the mini workout “snack” sessions seem a little intense for immediately before a meal, they were hugely effective with a drop of 10% of avg. daily BG.

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Thank you for posting a link to this article. This is a topic I’m very interested in.

I’m a type 1 so I focused on the information and studies referenced about type 1 diabetics. Unfortunately the article is too generic to be useful to me. Worse, where the information is specific and could apply to me the referenced studies are too small to overcome the viability in humans the author mentions in the third paragraph. One study I looked at had n=12, the next had n=6.

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For myself, I usually workout in the evenings, and have been considering switching back to morning workouts, something that was my norm through my 20s and 30s. The rhythms of life have shifted me to a leisurely morning.

When I commuted to work and was single, still aiming for career success, with gym equipment in my apartment, I would normally vary rowing (ergometer), biking (spin) and lifting, before getting ready for work and starting my commute. With my current partner, in our current home, and working remotely, I don’t have gym equipment, so typically wait until the end of the day, after work, to head out to one of several gym locations, depending on the planned workout.

I’ve been shifting my eating toward the morning, avoiding too much late day food, and shifting back to a morning routine might work better for me, as well as prevent some of the overnight blood sugar issues I have to manage.