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Can J Diabetes. 2013 Dec;37(6):427-32. doi: 10.1016/j.jcjd.2013.08.269.

Vigorous intensity exercise for glycemic control in patients with type 1 diabetes.

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  • 1Manitoba Institute of Child Health, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada; Department of Pediatrics and Child Health, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


Regular physical activity has substantial health benefits in persons with type 1 diabetes, including reduced risk of complications and cardiovascular mortality as well as improved self-rated quality of life. Despite these benefits, individuals with type 1 diabetes are often less active than their peers without diabetes. When factors such as time constraints, work pressure and environmental conditions are often cited as barriers to physical activity in the general population, 2 additional major factors may also explain the low rates of physical activity in young people with type 1 diabetes: (1) fear of hypoglycemia both during and after (particularly overnight) exercise and (2) a lack of empiric evidence for the efficacy of physical activity for achieving optimal glycemic control. A number of acute exercise trials recently showed that the inclusion of vigorous intensity physical activity in conventional moderate intensity (i.e. walking and light cycling) exercise sessions may overcome these barriers. No studies have tested the efficacy of high-intensity physical activity on glycemic control (A1C) or post-exercise hypoglycemia in a randomized controlled trial. This article summarizes the literature related to the role of physical activity for the management of blood glucose levels in individuals with type 1 diabetes and provides a rationale for the need of a randomized controlled trial examining the effects of vigorous-intensity physical activity on blood glucose control.

Copyright © 2013 Canadian Diabetes Association. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


A1C; HbA1c; aerobic exercise; anaerobic exercise; exercice anaérobique; exercice aérobique; hypoglycemia; hypoglycémie

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