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August 7, 2007

Exercise and Sports

Question from Essex, United Kingdom:

My son is doing a 20 mile sponsored walk for school. Could you give me some advice that I could pass on to the school how to manage this?


When embarking on a new exercise or activity, certain precautions should be taken. If the exercise is much longer (i.e., 20 mile walk) than usual, it is important to train for the activity before actually attempting to do it. Starting out with a two to three mile walk and adding a mile or two each time will make it easier to do and probably easier to control blood sugar swings as well. Extreme highs or lows will make the walk much more difficult to complete. For tips on handling blood sugars before, during and after the walk, see our Sports Corner.


[Editor’s comment: You may want to consider reducing your son’s long-acting insulin the morning of the walk. In addition, he will need to have a supply of both short-acting and long-acting carbohydrates and water along the route. He will need to stop periodically to check his blood sugar. Please discuss the details of his regimen for the day of the walk with his diabetes team.