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From Anchorage, Alaska, USA:

I am a physical therapist in Anchorage Alaska, and a pediatric therapist that I work with is trying to find some guidelines to use in regards to exercise and activity recommendations with diabetic kids. I wonder if you could refer me to some that you feel would be useful. I work with adults and wonder what are the differences that stand out between the kids and adults with Type 1.


The key for any individual with Type 1 diabetes is to know that they are exercising safely and effectively through self monitoring of blood glucose before during and after exercise.

Here are some general exercise guidelines for kids as well as adults with Type I diabetes:

  1. Be sure you are in good control of your diabetes.
  2. Test your blood glucose before and after exercise. If you are engaging in activity for more than 30 minutes check your blood glucose at 30 minutes to see what is going on.
  3. If blood glucose is less than or equal to 100 mg/dl before exercise, eat a pre-exercise snack.
  4. If blood glucose is greater than 250 mg/dl, check urine for ketones. If ketones are present, improve blood glucose control. Do not exercise.
  5. If blood glucose is 400 mg/dl or higher, do not exercise.
  6. Be aware of the peak action times of insulin. Exercise during these times may cause excessive lowering of blood glucose.
  7. Continue to monitor blood glucose levels at 2 hours after strenuous exercise.
  8. Food intake may need to be increased to accommodate activity/exercise.
  9. Don't inject muscles where insulin will be rapidly absorbed.
  10. Always carry medical identification.
  11. Always carry a source of readily available carbohydrate.
  12. Exercise with a partner.
  13. Know the signs and symptoms ofhypoglycemia and how to treat.
  14. Keep your Physician and/or Diabetes Education Team notified of your health status and your exercise program - medication may need to be changed.


Original posting 10 Aug 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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