Getting back into dance after diagnosis

Hello everyone!
I’m a former ballerina and dance enthusiast (pre-diabetes), I danced for about 8-9 years then I was diagnosed at 13 and my mother took me out of dance not knowing how it would affect my blood sugars and she worried too much about me getting sick in class. I am now 25 and have been getting back into dancing more. I walk 15-20 mins daily and have been doing yoga for a few months now about 3-4 times a week and I love it, it really helps me de-stress. I often still dance around my house for fun for at least 15-30 minutes a day and dance in grocery store isles, but I still crave more dance! I have recently taken interest in hoop dancing but I was wondering about tips on checking sugars before/after dancing, adjusting insulin for activity and what not. Most of the time the yoga I do is not very fast paced and since I’m diabetic I can’t do hot yoga so it doesn’t have much affect on my blood sugar. I have noticed when I hoop it is more cardio related dancing so I try to keep an eye more on how I feel before and after. Any suggestions help!! ALSO any suggestions on dance shoes? I have split sole canvas ballet shoes but sometimes I notice they hurt my little diabetic piggies now when I wear them for extended periods of time (I may need a new pair to wear in) but any shoe suggestions are welcome! Happy dancing :slight_smile:

Pura Vida

Hi there!
I attended the Type One Nation conference in Texas yesterday and attended an hour session all about exercising and blood sugars! But first - do you wear a pump or CGM? it makes a big difference!

I did wear a pump for about 4 years and I did not like it, I have very sensitive skin and the adhesives did not comply well with me. I also as silly as it sounds didn’t like the constant reminder attached to me that I had diabetes. I try really hard not to let it control my life 24/7, and that was too much of a hassle for me having to waste infusion sets and money changing almost sites everyday due to my own personal skin issues. I believe it works well, but not for me. I use pens, they are a somewhat cheaper alternative for my budget and I. Hooping is light cardio exercise, similar to ballet and jazz, some hip hop, I use a polyprothane hula hoop so it’s very light weight. I sometimes use a heavier (1lb) hoop for strengthening, but thats about the most weight action I get. I tried to join a gym when I was in my late teens early 20’s and I did heavier cardio when my sugar is in proper range (100-120) my sugar drops within 15-20 mins. I also noticed anytime I use over 5-10 lbs weights my sugar drops later on in the day/night. I am not really trying to lose weight, but just want to get back into dance because it’s something I really enjoy! Hooping is new to me and since it’s more cardio than yoga I’m not sure how to adjust properly for it so I don’t have to correct anything later!


I’m in the exact same boat! I have extremely sensitive skin and had the same problem. I play 3hrs of tennis a day and changing the site was a pain for both me and the insurance.

Here are some of the things the endo at the conference suggested -
(1) eat consistently throughout the workout, not just once or twice.
(2) try to use a shorter needle to avoid injecting into the muscle & don’t inject into the part of the body you plan on using the most (i.e if you are lifting weights, inject into the leg) injecting into muscle and then using that muscle doubles the reaction rate of the insulin
(3) work out in a cooler place (if possible). Heat increases the blood flow to the skin and therefore you react faster to insulin. This is why you are told to never shower within 15 minutes of taking insulin and if you live in a warm place (like me) you should lower your insulin amounts and quick sugar intakes in the summer
(4) going low later in the day/night is the result of something called DOH (delayed onset hypoglycemia). Basically whilst you were working out, because it was at such a high level, you not only used up the glucose from the food you ate, but you used your body’s glucose storage - meaning you have to fill it back up. So if you don’t fill it back up, you’ll go low later on. The best solution for that is, I know you don’t want to hear it but… eat more during and after the work out. With DOH, you can go low for 6-10 hours after you are done working out. Also, keep in mind that the exercise increases your sensitivity to insulin for pretty much 12-24 hours. So make sure you lower the insulin intake aswell, or the 24 hour insulin slightly (not as effective for me)
(5) if you are working out right after eating, don’t inject, at all. When you work out straight after eating you do something called delayed digestion. If you eat dinner and then go run on the treadmill, your body doesn’t start to digest that food, it just sits in your stomach, but the insulin you took keeps working. So you’ll crash low and then spike high after you are done and start digesting the food. Solution for that is, although it may sound counterintuitive, inject after the workout, not before.
(6) If you are working out within two hours of eating, lower your bolus (I lower mine by 50%)
(7) make sure you are eating high glycemic index foods, they’ll keep your blood sugar up. Also, make sure you eat enough to replenish what you are using (basically what I said in 4). For example an hour of singles tennis, for my weight (160) uses 65-75g of carbs. meaning in a 3 hour practice I should be eating 200g of carbs (which let’s be real I’m never going to do as that’s a lot but I pay for it later on!)

Hopefully this helps, I know it’s a lot of info haha!
Good luck!

oh - I have a friend who is a ballet dancer so I’ll forward your shoe question to her :wink:

Thank you for all of this useful info!!