For the first time guidelines have been issued to help people with type 1 diabetes exercise safely.
The document has been compiled by JDRF, the type 1 diabetes research organization, and provides safe blood glucose targets before, during and after exercise.
The guidelines, titled ‘Exercise management in type 1 diabetes: a consensus statement’, involved a team of 21 researchers. The release coincides with the launch of JDRF’s Performance in Exercise and Knowledge (PEAK) program.
The guidelines offer recommendations on blood glucose targets and dose adjustments for nutrition and insulin to prevent fluctuations in blood sugar levels during physical activity.
Lead contributor to the report, Dr Aaron Kowalskin, who is JDRF’s Chief Mission Officer, said: “Exercise has tremendous benefits for people with type 1 diabetes, but it can be hard to predict how it will affect their blood glucose and how they feel during and following physical activity.”
The project has been developed to educate people with type 1 diabetes and all the people around them, such as family members, about how it is possible to exercise safely.
Both the guidelines and the PEAK program were created after a 2013 JDRF survey suggested 36 per cent of people with type 1 diabetes or caregivers viewed exercising with the condition a challenge.
“The lack of reliable information on how to exercise safely has created obstacles for people with T1D who want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. These consensus guidelines, as well as JDRF’s new PEAK program, are breaking down those barriers,” added Dr Kowalski.
The content was compiled after experts observed exercise management trials in people with type 1 diabetes for two years. The findings reflect how different types of exercise can affect glucose levels, and provide advice on how to manage and control blood sugar levels.
The report authors said a lot people with the condition fail to control their weight and also do not participate in the 150 minutes per week of exercise recommended by the World Health Organisation.
The guidelines have been published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal.

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