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Your Diabetes Exercise Toolkit

Haven’t been exercising for a while? Caught short with a hypo while out exercising? Or just wanting to brush up on best practice? Read on, this is for you!

I will be bringing out a series of exercise blogs over the next few weeks so people with Diabetes can feel safer, more confident and have all the tips and tricks to begin exercise again or get up to speed with how to improve what you are currently doing.

Today let’s get prepared with our DIABETES EXERCISE TOOLKIT

Now this advice applies to ANY sort of Diabetes – Type 1, Type 2 but also Gestational Diabetes and others if you are on Insulin or other medication for diabetes that can cause hypoglycaemia. 

The Bum Bag


Firstly, get yourself a funky bum-bag (yes, they are in fashion again I am told by my Young Adult patients so it’s cool, it just needs to be worn over one shoulder these days!), large zip wallet, running belt, back pack, exercise clothing with packets or cycling bag for your bike to store your stuff.

Hypo Treatment

Next, get your toolkit ready. This list below is the minimum amount of stuff to take exercising to be safe if you have diabetes. Take:

  • 2 x Hypoglycaemia Treatments (15g of Fast acting carbohydrates). For example:
    • 7 x supermarket style Jellybeans
    • 5 x pharmacy style eg: Glucojel jellybeans
    • 5 x Mentos
    • 2 x snakes lollies
    • 150mL of Juice or sports drink
    • 1.5 x Glucose Gels.
  • Your Glucometer and testing strips or BGL testing device eg: Phone paired with CGM or Libre Reader. Remember to use a Glucometer rather than Libre to check a Hypo accurately.
  • 1 x ExCarbs portion: A snack for during exercise that contains slower acting carbohydrates in 15g portions. For example:
    • A Muesli bar or a fruit bar
    • 2 x biscuits
    • A small / half a banana
    • 6 dried apricots or 2 strips dried mango
    • ½ sandwich (1 x bread)
  • A Mobile Phone or a Friend! Just in case you get stuck.

Exercising for longer than 60 minutes or taking insulin with you?

If you are exercising for longer than 60 minutes I would recommend taking more Hypo treatments, snacks or even lunch if you are out for a long day, and considering taking your insulin with you as well. Remember if you are taking your insulin – it needs to be kept out of the sun below 25 degrees. So, you might need a little Insulin Cooling Wallet as part of your toolkit too.  More about these long exercise sessions in future blogs.

You can start now!

So now is the perfect time to get out in the fresh air, start that new Yoga class app or dust off the old bike. Exercise has many mental health, physical health and diabetes benefits therefore don’t let your diabetes stop you from getting out there and making the most of the true “magic medication”.

Stay tuned for some more info on the benefits, info about diabetes and exercise and tips on how to get started!


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