It’s important to cool down or warm down following any intense training, but since the ability of a T1 to metabolize lactic acid is impaired, it is critically important for any T1 to warm down properly and hydrate following intense exercise.
Alcohol, dehydration, hypoglycemia, intense or prolonged exercise can lead to increases in acid build up that your body must eliminate. Since exercise can lead to three of the most common risk factors, it’s vital to cool down, hydrate, and check BG levels following exercise.
Following an intense workout, I recommend the following:
1. Warm down for at least 4 – 5 minutes.
2. Drink a glass of pure clean water.
3. Check BG level. If it’s too high, you might want to wait on the insulin or at least modulate your dose somewhat since BG levels have a tendency to fall quickly after exercise.
4. Have a snack ready to go to prevent hypoglycemia – this can lead to even more acid build up.
I swim about four times a week and sometimes the workout includes short, very high intensity intervals. I often measure BG levels > 160 following these types of workouts. However, I can reduce those BG levels significantly by following the four steps listed above in addition to reducing muscle fatigue and soreness later.