Exercise and Pumps

Do you keep your pump connected when you work out or disconnect? If you disconnect, do you have problems with highs during your workout? And for those who stay connected, do you decrease your basal or anything?


Katy, I am not a medical doctor, but I will strongly advise you to NOT remove your pump during extended exercise. In fact, years ago I was advised to not have my pump off for more than 60 minutes at any one time.

One of the reasons is that, and especially during exercise, is your body needs fuel - more during exercise - and without insulin your body can not utilize the sugars as its fuel and will instead start breaking down stored body causing production of acetone, a poison, and possibly lead to ketoacidosis. I do remove my pump when swimming.

The second part of your question: Before, during and after extended exercise I set a “Temporary Basal” of something less than 100% and have that lower flow begin sometime before I actually begin my exercise. As an example if I’m planning on bike riding, I set my temp basal to 35% about 90 minutes before I start peddling and plan for that lower flow to extend 30 to 60 minutes beyond exercise. Yes, during a 20 mile ride, I check my BG a minimum or three times and sip regular Gatorade [I use the powered stuff mixed at about a 75% ratio] along with water to prevent dehydration and possible cramping- yes, this is constantly hot Florida.

Another tip; on extended exercise excursions, about 30 minutes before I finish, I test and eat a snack of a quantity that will require a bolus. Somehow this bolus signals the liver to stop glucagon production thus preventing an after exercise extreme high. This last tip I’ve discussed with doctors and some long-term T1D and we are not sure if results are consistent - but it works for my body. Be careful and get to know how YOUR body reacts and works - and wait a few days between trying anything new.


Hi Katy!

I am a long distance runner and I typically do disconnect when I run. This was originally because when I would wear the pump on a run I would have severe lows several hours after exercise so I tried a decreased basal and then eventually changed to just disconnecting. I will usually have a snack before I run and bolus of any where from 50% to 100% of the carbs depending on my work out. Then I reconnect directly after running and can usually deal with any highs by correcting with extra insulin usually with a meal. This isn’t true for all of my exercise though I will keep my pump on to go on light jogs, to hike, or when I am doing extended road biking. I haven’t had many problems with highs like i said running gives me delayed hypoglycemia instead. Hope that helps a little bit.