Diabetes and Lipid Clinic of Alaska



Pump Tips: Exercise

The following are tips for pump users to manage exercise or activity mainly to avoid post-exercise hypoglycemia or hyperglycemia. Each type of sport or activity demands a different level of effort and each pump user responds to exercise in a different way. Only through accurate and dedicated recording will you be able to gauge your particular response to exercise. Talk to your pump team for individual advice.

  • You can be off your pump for up to 2 hours while you are active - as in exercise.
  • You may need to give a "catch up" bolus after exercise. Do this by adding up the basal that you have missed and give half of that amount as a bolus. How will you know to give this or not? Blood sugar is OK right after the exercise, but quickly rises within the next hour or so.
  • Use the temporary basal rate after strenuous exercise such as hockey. The timing of the temp basal is key. It may be that it does not need to be turned on until 2 - 4 hours after the game. How long the temp basal is extended and the rate is also variables.
  • Start with a temp basal of 50% of whatever rate is used at that particular time of day and extend it for 4 hours.
    You can set up another basal pattern as well. Set the alternate pattern for 50% of whatever patterns are set up in the standard or usual basal rate.
  • You may need to decrease the bolus for meals eaten after exercise. A 30% reduction along with a temp basal may do the trick! (50% if there is no reduction in the basal rate.)
  • Have carbohydrate containing drinks or snacks during exercise in 15 - 30g carb portion sizes. Your body will need some amount of insulin to use this carb. Usually, there is enough basal but if not - your blood sugar will climb due to stress hormones. A tiny bolus during "half time" when the snack is eaten may suffice.
  • Some people need to leave the pump on during activity because their blood sugar usually climbs due to adrenaline. For these people, an early increase in basal followed by a sharp decrease in temp basal after the sport may do.
  • Stress hormones during competitive sports can raise blood sugar

The information on this Web page is provided for educational purposes. You understand and agree that this information is not intended to be, and should not be used as, a substitute for medical treatment by a health care professional. You agree that Diabetes and Lipid Clinic of Alaska is not making a diagnosis of your condition or a recommendation about the course of treatment for your particular circumstances through the use of this Web page. You agree to be solely responsible for your use of information contained on this Web page

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