Life with a pump

Diabetes and exercise

For many people, exercise and playing sports is an important part of life. Having diabetes doesn’t have to change that. In fact, exercise can also play an essential role in the management of diabetes by improving circulation, reducing heart disease, and helping to control weight.

Managing diabetes during exercise will require some extra care and planning to ensure good control can be maintained.


  • Understand the role that exercise plays in diabetes management
  • Read about pump user Lydia
  • Discover how insulin pumps can help manage diabetes

Insulin pump user  Lydia

Being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes helped me realize that I need to work hard to get something done. I continued sport and am still a member of the Dutch National Women Karate team. With much searching I found a balance between diabetes and the rest of my life (sports, work, etc.).



In managing diabetes, it is important to take into consideration many factors, including blood glucose monitoring, carbohydrate intake, physical activities and insulin requirements to ensure good blood glucose control and to reduce the risk of complications.

It can be a challenge to reach and maintain the HbA1c goal while minimising the risk of hypoglycaemia. However, by understanding the body’s needs, including the effect of exercise, and learning how to keep blood glucose within recommended levels, it is possible to manage diabetes effectively.

HbA1c: an important measure of how effectively diabetes is being managed using a measure of the amount of glucose that has attached itself to each red blood cell over the preceding 2 to 3 months to assess the level of diabetes control.

There are many factors that can affect your glucose levels while exercising, including intensity, insulin in the body, carbohydrate intake and level of fitness. It is important to discuss these with your physician to understand what modifications you may need to make to your diabetes management.

So, as someone living with diabetes, how can I better manage my glucose control when exercising?

Diabetes, exercise & insulin pumps

To deal with the challenges of keeping blood glucose levels under better control, especially during exercise, many people with Type 1 diabetes rely on insulin pumps.

An insulin pump is a small device, about the size of a mobile phone that can be easily carried on a belt, inside a pocket, or even attached to a bra.

An insulin pump can help you and your healthcare team to more closely mimic the way a healthy pancreas delivers the basal insulin to the body by providing small amounts of rapid acting insulin during the day and night. It can help to better manage the need for insulin dose adjustment, particularly after meals, during exercise and overnight and can thus help to achieve better glucose control.

Instead of frequent injections, all that is needed for pump therapy is a change of infusion set every 2 to 3 days. Clinical studies* confirm that many Type 1 patients of various ages who switch from MDI to insulin pump therapy report improvements in their quality of life and increased satisfaction with their treatment.

The insulin pump has enabled me to live my life how I want to. I go through my normal training routine every evening and my insulin pump is set accordingly. This way I can regulate my blood glucose much better before and after training.


Minimed 640G insulin pump on adult's body


The MiniMed® 640G insulin pump allows for better glucose control due to the ability to adjust insulin delivery, reducing the risks of hypers and hypos. With insulin pump therapy users can benefit from:

  • Easier dosing
    Calculating insulin requirement can be a complex task with many different aspects to be considered. As part of the MiniMed 640G insuliln pump, the built-in Bolus Wizard® feature helps to ensure more accurate dosing by taking into account the insulin already in the body, current glucose levels, carbohydrate intake and personal insulin settings.
  • Fewer injections
    Precise amounts of rapid acting insulin are delivered throughout the day by the infusion set which is easily removed and replaced every 2 to 3 days.
  • Greater flexibility
    The MiniMed 640G insulin pump can be instantly adjusted to allow for exercise, during illness or to deliver small boluses to cover snacks. This can be easily done with a touch of a button, rather than with another injection. There is even a temporary basal rate option to proportionally reduce the basal insulin rate, an option that can be used during exercise, for example.
  • More convenience
    The MiniMed 640G insulin pump offers the additional convenience of a wirelessly connected blood glucose meter. This meter automatically sends blood glucose values to the pump, allowing more accurate Bolus Wizard calculations. It also stores this information in a digital diary along with your insulin doses.


Many people with Type 1 diabetes may benefit from an insulin pump without even knowing it. In general if you experience any of the following, you could get better control with an insulin pump:

  • Concerns about long-term complications
  • The first symptoms of long term complications
  • Fear of needles
  • Difficulty in managing highs and lows
  • Fear of hypoglycaemia, especially at night and after sports
  • Outside targeted HbA1c levels
  • Reduced hypoglycaemia awareness
  • Seeking more flexibility in everyday life

The best way to stay within a healthy glucose range is to self-monitor blood glucose (SMBG) at least 4 times per day and make adjustments to the therapy as needed. The MiniMed 640G insulin pump with the use of the Bolus Wizard can make these calculations and adjustments to help improve glucose control.


The MiniMed 640G insulin pump is also available with the additional integrated options of continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and CareLink Therapy Management Software.

When coupled with CGM, the MiniMed 640G insulin pump is currently the only insulin pump with the SmartGuard® feature which may help reduce the impact of hypoglycaemia*. If glucose levels fall dangerously low, SmartGuard can predict when you are approaching lows 30 minutes in advance and automatically stop insulin delivery. When your glucose levels recover, it will automatically resume insulin delivery. This could be a big advantage over SMBG because the MiniMed Integrated System alerts you prior to crossing pre-set threshold limits, as well as showing current glucose trends.

Diabetes management system


  • * References are kept on file and are available on request; please contact your local Medtronic representative for copies.


See the device manuals for detailed information regarding the instructions for use, indications, contraindications, warnings, precautions, and potential adverse events. For further information, contact your local Medtronic representative.

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