Is it OK to exercise alone if you take insulin?

It's always better to have a companion for safety's sake, as well as for company. You especially shouldn't do anything potentially hazardous like skiing or swimming alone.

Still, there isn't always somebody around, and a diabetic does always need exercise. There's no reason why you can't take a walk or jog or ride your bicycle or play a round of golf by yourself. Just be sure you never leave the house without enough carbohydrate to see you through. Enough is the word here. Take along a lot more than you think you can possibly need. Then you'll never have to curtail your fun. Here are dietitian Michael Wedman's guidelines for judging how much to eat before different types of sports.

1/2 hour bike riding, walking fast, roller skating = 1 fruit added before or during the exercise.

1 hour bike riding, running, walking fast, roller skating, basketball, tennis, racquetball = 1 bread + 1 fruit added before the exercise.

1 hour canoeing, skiing, swimming, backpacking = 1 bread + 1 fruit + 1 protein or 2 fat.

Dietitian Wedman suggests that dried fruit, nuts, sunflower seeds, and ready-to-eat cereals can give you a good variety of snacks during exercise. Many of her patients like a trail mix of small shredded wheat biscuits, peanuts, raisins, and chili powder. Then there are the old standbys of peanut butter and crackers, cheese and fruit, or nuts and fruit for mid morning and mid-afternoon glucose boosts for lengthy physical exercise regimes like bike outings, swim meets, canoe races, etc. She does not recommend salty snack foods and sugar-concentrated foods for diabetics.

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