"Exercise High"

Yesterday was a pretty stressful day for me, my boyfriend, and definitely his mom. My boyfriend, Scott, has T1 and we went to visit his sister at college with his family.

We went for a walk outside (the one warm day this week) in a park (more than 2 miles at a lazy pace), walked around Mizzou's campus, and walked around downtown Columbia. While walking around downtown, Scott did a test because he felt high and was only around 100. From what I understand, this is an "exercise high" or a false feeling of having a high BG level when you are actually low from exercising and now getting enough sugar. In the end, he ended up extremely low on the way home, and then after eating a ton of carby foods to get his strength back, had a BG of almost 600 in the night with trace ketones. His levels are still high today, despite doing large humalog shots.

Now for my actual question...

Scott and I are not very athletic, but are both 19 and in decent shape. Does anyone have any advice about how to ease into an exercise routine without having big jumps in blood glucose levels? I want to start slow, and walking I think would be a good idea. I know we both want to be more active later (when not swamped with homework---after college), but it's a little intimidating to get started when stuff like this usually happens.

Any advice you can share would be great! Thanks!

I think just starting off with walking is a good idea if you looking to just ease into it. Taking long walks a couple times a week can do a lot of good. Eventually you can start going for short, fast runs or longer runs at a slower pace.  Another good idea would be to go bike riding or rollerblading. Both are pretty good workouts also.  As for controlling your blood sugar it can get a little tricky.  If you intend to have an intense workout you are going to want to eat a little snack before.  For example before I go running or anything I usually eat an apple with some peanutbutter 15-30mins before to try and avoid any low blood sugars.  And then after you would want to check because you can drop very low a couple of hours after your work out.  Another thing you can do which my doctor suggested to me, (if your on the pump) is set a temporary basal rate a half hour before you go running and a half hour after.  Otherwise you just have to experiment alittle.  Hope some of that helps. Best of luck!

I have found that almost every new situation requires experimenting to find what adjustments are actually needed for dealing with a particular situation, if that situation is going to become something you do repeatedly. You have to start with a plan, and with extra carbs on hand in case your plan turns out to be less than perfect. Next time change the plan, based on your actual experience. Keep doing this until your (modified) plan works like you want it to. I found this relatively easy to do, because I am an electrical engineer with lots of computer experience. You are more likely to be successful with your experiments if you only change one thing at a time, so you can determine whether that change was good or bad. This was how I handled it when I started bike riding 30 years ago, on injections. When I started using a pump, almost 14 years ago, I had to repeat my experiments. And every few months you need to consider whether minor changes are needed. Your requirements are likely to change as your body becomes more accustomed to a particular form of exercise.