Is it safe for me to exercise?

Is it safe for me to exercise?

If you are new to exercise, it is generally best to start slowly and build up over time. For most people with type 1 diabetes, it is perfectly safe to exercise.

However, there are some conditions where caution is required or action needs to be taken before starting exercise:

Table of medical conditions with resulting advice for exercise:

Nerve  damage (peripheral neuropathy): All forms of activity fine but check feet regularly and ensure good footwear

Autonomic Neuropathy: Consult diabetes team before exercising

Charcot Foot (Active): Avoid weight bearing exercise

Severe/unstable eye disease (Retinopathy): Avoid vigorous activity and consult your eye team

Kidney disease (Nephropathy): All forms of activity fine, start at low intensity

High Blood Pressure: Maintain good hydration

Previous angina/heart attack but now stable: All activities fine, consult your GP or diabetes team if you have concerns

Recent heart attack: Restart exercise in supervised rehabilitation programme

Chest pain: Consult GP before starting exercise

Heart Failure: Moderate or low intensity activities

Recent stroke: Restart exercise in supervised rehabilitation programme

Exercise affects your blood glucose levels so a general rule is to check and record your blood glucose levels before, during and after exercise. This can help you work out how much carbohydrates to eat and how much insulin to take.

Do you have any worries or concerns about exercising when you have diabetes? 

It is useful to note these down and discuss them with your diabetes care team. Talking through any issues will give you a better understanding of how to maintain a healthy lifestyle when you have diabetes. 

You may also find it useful to track your exercise, blood glucose levels and insulin doses to start with so you can review how it affects you and make any necessary adjustments. You can download a tracker by clicking here.


  1. Comment by Scott. M. on 15/08/2022 at 3:21 PM

    I think we should cite where these recommendations come from

    Some inconsistent capitalisation in “Condition” column

    I think to avoid people missing the link to the worksheet its worth adding an explicit reference.

  2. Comment by Kirsten. C. on 22/08/2022 at 2:00 PM


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