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Staying Active

Physical activity makes your body more sensitive to insulin and can be used as a method to balance blood glucose levels and decrease the risk of diabetes complications. In fact, research shows that physical activity could even help prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes.1

Eating typically raises your blood glucose, while diabetes medications and physical activity lower it. During physical activity, your muscles use the glucose in your blood for energy. Insulin circulating the body lets glucose into the cells.

Before any physical activity, make sure you talk to your healthcare professional. It will be important to balance your food, and understand how the insulin is working. Depending on the activity you will be doing, you may need to take less insulin before the activity to prevent you from having low blood glucose. Eating 1 to 2 hours before an activity can help keep your blood glucose from going too low. You may need extra food to maintain the increased level of glucose your body needs for energy when you are physically active.

Bring a snack with you anytime you may be active for long periods of time. If you have type 1 diabetes and your blood glucose levels are too high before doing an activity (more than 14.0 mmol/L) you may need to take some insulin beforehand. Talk to your healthcare provider.

Always test your blood glucose levels before and after the activity so that you will know the effect it has on your blood glucose levels.


If you have type 2 diabetes and you take diabetes medication that helps your body make more insulin, you should always carry a snack with you.

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