Diabetes And Running – Everything You Need To Know

Is it possible to run if you have Type I or Type II diabetes? The short answer is: talk to your doctor. Every situation is different, based on your background, history, and overall health, so it is essential to ask your doctor if it is OK to add running into your exercise routine.

They may suggest changes in medication or have other tips specific to your condition. In general, making adjustments in your nutrition and exercise have many benefits, and in this article, we will discuss some tips to stay healthy while you are on the road or your fitness equipment.

Type I Diabetes and Running

Type I diabetes is a chronic condition that is usually diagnosed in young children or teens when the pancreas creates little to no insulin on its own. It is generally monitored by consistently checking blood sugar levels. Incorporating physical activities when you have Type 1 diabetes is beneficial for overall health. Here are a few tips as you run:

  • Check blood sugars before, during, and after your workouts.
  • Carry fast-acting carbs and sugars with you when you are out on the road in case they plummet.
  • Eat a balanced diet full of nutritious foods such as fruits, veggies, healthy fats, meats, and monitor carbohydrates.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Start by incorporating moderate running for a few weeks while maintaining blood sugar and then increasing intensity.

Type II Diabetes and Running

Type II diabetes is usually diagnosed later in life and associated with obesity. This is when the body doesn’t produce enough insulin, and glucose stays in the body. Type II diabetes can be reversed with a few simple changes in lifestyle and nutrition. Therefore, running can be a great thing to incorporate as you work to create a healthier lifestyle. However, there may be some precautions to take.

  • If you are overweight, you likely have some joint pain. If running seems too daunting, it is not the only way to get the same benefits. Consider walking on an incline on a treadmill, using an elliptical, or riding a bike to decrease the impact on joints and still get a sweat on.
  • Eat a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables, healthy fats, meats, and complex carbohydrates such as whole grains and wheat. Avoid fasting for extended amounts of time, affecting blood sugar levels and increasing the chance of overindulging.
  • Stay away from high-calorie sports drinks and bars, which can prevent you from losing extra weight.
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Start slow and note how you feel before, during, and after your workouts to make adjustments in your nutrition for the next time you exercise.


Running can be a great tool to combat diabetes and live a healthy, active lifestyle. There are precautions to take to ensure blood sugar stays in range, so be sure to talk to your doctor about your plan to incorporate running into your routines. In general, fuel your body with nutritious foods, drink plenty of water, limit carbohydrates, and start slow so that you can make sure your levels don’t plummet.

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