June 8, 2003
Exercise and Sports
Question from Buenos Aires, Argentina:
Are isometric exercises recommended for children with diabetes?
Isometric exercise for prepubertal children does not accomplish very much since the puberal hormones are needed to have maximum benefit. There are lots of myths about isometric exercise (such as weight-lifting) stunting growth, but they are mostly myths. Being reasonable about exercise is the best idea and making sure that the exercise is balanced with insulin and food, frequent monitoring to learn about exercise effects, etc. Remember that a lot of vigorous exercise, aerobic or anaerobic, will have a significant delayed effect and that hours after the exercise is really when extra food and/or less insulin effect is needed. Here again, insulin analogs (Humalog or NovoLog) are extremely helpful since they help titrate such needs more effectively than previous human Regular or animal insulins.