This is a real issue for me. My blood sugar drops like a rock when I exercise. Generally, I try to get up to 200 or more before I go out and run or ride my bike. I also deal with gastroparesis, which makes it almost impossible to get my blood sugars to rise. It could take anywhere from 1 hour to 5 or 6 hours to get my blood sugar to rise. So, it is important for me to get my blood sugars very high before I workout. Very, very frustrating! I do vigorous exercise every other day, or more often.
For me it’s not the blood glucose number as much as it is insulin on board. If I have even 1/2 unit still active then I will drop like a rock. If I have reduced my basal rate by at least 3/4 approximately 1 hour before exercise, and I have no active insulin on board I don’t drop. Similarly, if I’m high and dose and see no response, light walking, stretching etc will drop me nicely, unless there is a problem with the pump site or the insulin.
It’s not that simple. It depends on insulin on board (IOB), the trend arrow, and whether I have cut back on my basal rate ahead of time.
I agree with the people who say it’s more a matter of IOB than glucose levels. I can do any of those things with no IOB (other than basal) with very little drop in BG. With IOB, I would be getting low alarms pretty quickly.
I picked a number but I really don’t think about that and plan it out. I do say to my husband who is not a planner: are we going for that walk NOW or in an hour and will bolus accordingly. My worst lows are when I change reservoirs for the first 6 hours or so or a new bottle in insulin. I always turn my basal down. And vacuuming. That gets me more than just walking or riding my bike. I always go low vacuuming. I guess I get my whole body into it 😄
Even with little or no IOB exercise tends to drop my BG faster than I’d like unless I reduce my basal an hour in advance. I am not as fit as I’d like to be (or use to be) and need to regain strength and stamina so I am trying to figure out how to resume exercise safely–I hate those overnight lows!
George O Hamilton
I used the 120-139 bracket for my vote, but as many are commenting, I am more concerned with the trend line on my BG and the amount of insulin I have on board. The interaction of these will cause my BG to drop fast if I do not have carbs to burn. My walking routine is about one mile at a time. That is enough to lower BG by at least 30 points depending on these other factors.
The answers here are very interesting to me. I’ve always focused on sensor glucose, trend (arrows or just observation of the profile), and carbs in processing (I tend to take extra carbs, 8g every 15 minutes, before significant exercise, twice for a 30-minute workout, three times for a 60-minute workout). I also sometimes use a temp target (i.e., a period of reduced basals). But I’ve never tried to get my IOB to zero because I was taught that that’s needed to allow absorption of the glucose the muscles need during exercise. I guess you guys have given me a new question to research. 🙂
As mentioned already there are several factors: IOB, food on board, do I put my tandem tslim X2 with Control-IQ in exercise mode, what’s my intensity and duration. The problem with my newish (since 5/2021) tslim is that when I go surfing, not only am I in the dark regarding my BG (CGM) values but I’m also disconnected (no basal which could be good or bad) so I tend to fuel up prior to elevate my BG and sometimes I’m in range after two plus hours in the water but not always. I do have the Baqsimi nasal glucagon spray and apple juice should I need them but they are back on shore.
I am looking forward to the Dexcom G7 which I think will pair with smart watches directly (without a phone in range) allowing me to at least stay informed on my BGs while surfing.
I don’t really know if I have an ideal number, but since my sugar usually drops quite a bit, I like it to be around 140 or possibly higher for some wiggle room although I have started exercising at 120 and it didn’t drop below 110. Exercise is tricky.
The ideal bell shaped curve. What bothers me are the folks at <80 and the folks at less than 99. Just exactly, HOW do you do it? Please clarify. ¯\_( ͡❛ ‿‿ ͡❛)_/¯
In my experience, this was the largest impact of going on a keto diet 8 years ago. Exercise no longer causes hypoglycemia episodes! I still see highs with higher intensity work outs (which i admit very rarely doing).
This is really tough for me as we’re trying to get pregnant, so I want my a1c as low as possible.
The highest your bgl is “supposed to” go is 140, but I don’t feel comfortable starting exercise if I’m below 120.
Anyone else experience this problem?
Before I had a CGM nighttime hypoglycemia was always a risk despite lowering both long acting and short acting insulins AND eating extra carbs before and after doing 40’ aerobic 3x/week.
With a CGM my goal is to see how close I’m keeping bg within 70 – 130, the “normal range” at all times when I start going back to the gym. A fanny pack with sugar cubes and nutrition bars or granola is an absolute necessity for me. Even swimming pools let you put your backpack or a small fanny pack on the deck.
There’s a diabetic exercise book that shows how many calories you’re burning per minute for various exercises that I found quite helpful.
I chose 120-139. 140-159 is higher than I like to be, but that would be acceptable to before exercise. My choice would also be dependent on how much insulin I have on board prior to exercise
I have no idea, however I look at my CGM and if I’ve eaten recently, and it’s 200 mg/dl and declining I will be very cautious/
I chose under 80 and have no idea why. Maybe I misread the question of after instead of before. Or possibly ideal being in an alternate reality where I do not deal with glucose fluctuations.
My ideal BG would be above 140 or higher and my insulin would be stopped during the exercise.
What is your ideal blood glucose level before doing 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise (e.g. going for a brisk walk, mowing the lawn, light bike riding)? Cancel reply
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I am new to control IQ do not positive what my ideal blood sugar should be yet but 150 wd definitely be safe so far and maybe lower