What to do with pump during exercise

Is it ok to just go ahead and disconnect completely while being active? I don’t like wearing it while exercising. What I do is check my sugar first then adjust my insulin an food accordingly. I typically give the basal amount that I’m going to miss for the hour via a bolus, like if my basal is 2.0 un / hr, I bolus 2 units then disconnect. I check my sugar for every hour I am disconnected. I know this sounds like a lot of work but it’s hard to jog with the pump poking into my side. Just wondering if this is the way to do it or not. Any tips and suggestions would be great. Thanks!

Being disconnected for an hour or so is no biggie. You shouldn’t have a problem doing that, esp since you are active. Heck, I put mine on SUSPEND frequently when hiking or doing other strenuous activities. I just make sure to watch my bg’s after a couple of hours of SUSPEND, regardless of whether or not the activity has finished. Following a 50% or lower basal for 3+ hours requires me to take a bit of a bolus, MOST OF THE TIME, to keep from going up at the end of the activity. If I don’t do a 50% basal or less while hiking, then my hike is interrupted by treating low bg’s, which is a real buzz-kill. I climb steep terrain for hours using a <=50% basal rate and it works great.

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While at the gym, I like to leave the pump in the locker. I might not even have to do the bolus compensation for the basal rate thing considering I would probably have some active insulin in my body from the basal rate during the day. I don’t mind correcting a high bg post workout, but to avoid both highs and lows, I tend to check it every hour just to be safe.

I suggest putting it in the back of your pants and be careful where you sit. Then use a typical alcohol wipe to disinfect after you extract it from your dairy air post exercise. This can be very tricky if you need to connect mid exercise. Taking more insulin post dairy air removal can be unsanitary of course. .

Oh course you could use one wipe charlies do aid the cleansing


“dairy air”? “disinfect”?? what are we disinfecting?? :slight_smile: I’ve been wearing pumps for almost 2 decades. The only disinfecting I might do is a swipe of an alcohol swab, SOMETIMES, at a new infusion site. Nothing more. What has exercise and disinfecting got to do with a pump?


Personally I don’t like disconnecting because highs. Delivering basals beforehand would probably mess with my numbers. I also don’t feel comfortable being apart from my pump for more than a shower’s duration for fear of it being displaced.

I understand that sometimes it gets annoying with it digging in and all but for me the best solution seems to be one of those yoga pants with special pockets where I can stash my pump and remove the clip thus no digging in. There’s also lots of options if bands are your thing. Look into stuff made for electronics and such.

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I have a belt I use for running that works pretty well. I’ve run 2x marathons and 9x 1/2s with it although lately, I’m more running 3-5 miles most of the time, not as many super long runs, so I have a one pocket belt I use for that, mostly to lug my phone (Strava! LOL…) along. I have the pump clips to it pretty easily although it will also fit in one of the pockets if I get caught in the rain.

I’ve never unclipped, except for swimming and then I usually just take a day or two off of pumping, or a week if we go to say Maui, and wing it. I am usually very glad to get my pump and CGM back.


Yes, it’s okay if that works for you. I just wear mine, but like others have already suggested, I put it in a pocket, pack, and because I’m a lady I have pocket tanks that I can tuck my pump into. If I bolused 2 units before exercise, I’d get lost on my trails :blush:

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do you turn your basal down any while / before / after you are exercising ?

I’m not Asma, but I turn the basal down 1-2 hours prior to exercise and resume normal basal when done with the activity. The more I slow the basal down, the more need I have for insulin once I stop the exercise, but keep in mind this is all based on HOW LONG and HOW MUCH I HAVE REDUCED the basal.

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so basically it’s trial and error and won’t necessarily be the same each time?


I haven’t disconnected for exercise except once at the beach this summer when I swam briefly… I would bolus a bit maybe if you do that but monitor what is going on. I wear mine on a spi belt all the time so I can just shut basal off when needed. When I shower I take it off for at least 1/2 hour and bolus .3 or whatever my basal rate is or a correction if I’m high etc. I don’t think there’s a problem with taking it off and storing it somewhere as long as you monitor things and make sure you can reconnect easily so a waist belt of some sort is a good idea. Someone told me he takes his off to surf for a few hours and takes some levemir during that period.

the more you practice the more often you will get it “right”. After 37 years, I get it right a whole lot more often! :slight_smile:

I wouldn’t do that. Levemir acts for roughly a day. I’d be fine for “a few hours” without my pump. I frequently shut mine off for hiking and it works out wonderfully. Somewhere between zero and 50% is what I need for strenuous hiking. Perhaps surfing (I’ve never done it) isn’t the same as climbing up steep inclines for hours. Once I’m done, I will start going up from a usually-stable bg around 100, so then I will turn the pump back on and SOMETIMES, I’ll preemptively bolus to keep from elevating. This all takes PRACTICE!

Re surfing, I just Levimir all day when i’m doing that. Maui was different as we stayed like 9 or 10 days so I had about 7 or 8 days of no pump but was really relieved to get back to it. In California more recently, I timed surfing day with site change day and took Levemir for a day and just did it again in Michigan for another day, although that day turned out weird and I ended up not swimming so it was sort of a waste but I’d already opened the bottle in California and had about a week left before it officially expired so I figured what the heck.

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I tried to switch to Lantus when spending several days poolside, but it never works out the way I like, so I lock the pump up in the hotel room safe, and take a Novolog or Humalog pen with me in case I need more insulin while down at the pool for up to 4 hours, max. I wish MM would get that waterproof pump approved by the FDA so that I can do away with all those less-than-optimal solutions, and just keep my pump clipped to my swim trunks for the entire time I’m down at the pool. Doing MDI for a few days just isn’t my bag. Control isn’t good enough for me.

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Yes, you may disconnect completely while being active. How you adjust to not having the pump on will vary according to your exercise, your BG pre-exercise, food intake and other factors like if you have been running low/high/“normal”, phase of the moon, sunspots, etc.

I try to lower my basal about an hour before exercise, then I keep a close watch via the CGM for trending to see if I need to adjust that basal rate. For me, bolusing my basal in advance would send me into a pretty substantial hypo. I do frequently find that I need to raise my basal rate for 2-3 hours after the exercise has ended, and then I lower my basal overnight to stave off an exercise-induced low from 2 - 4 a.m.

The ability to make those fine-tuned temporary basal rates is one of the things that has me sold on the pump. BTW, none of this fine-tuning means that I spend all my time between 70-140, it just means I spend less time below 70 or over 140 (not to mention less time with low/high symptoms).


When I scuba, I just take off the pump, store it in the dive bag and reconnect after the dive.

I am not nearly as flexible as you AR, when it comes to a pump vacay. I just take the pump along and adjust accordingly - of course, it is IPX-8 rated, so it can take a dip in the ocean.

I’m not sure but I think surfing is pretty strenuous- I guess it must work for him… he said he took 2 units and he takes much larger basal doses. I wouldn’t be able to shut of for several hours even with tons of activity, also sometimes I go up with it too.

Apparently it is: http://www.theinertia.com/health/why-surfing-is-one-of-the-best-cardiovascular-exercises-you-can-do/

Sounds good without the impact unless you wipe out I guess or a shark comes along :laughing:

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It sounds like surfing is very strenuous. Some of our hiking is pretty high impact and we try to be as careful as possible. Once the endorphins start flowing it’s hard to hold back! :slight_smile:

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