Dance Glucose and Blood Pressure Guidelines

by Kenzie on June 5, 2012

Based on input from our participants and approved by our Board of Directors, we are delighted to share a resource we have at all of our dances. Click Here to view the pdf version of Dance Glucose and Blood Pressure Guidelines.


When possible, test blood sugar (glucose) before physical activity.  Carry rapid-acting sugar (like glucose tablets, hard candy, or sugary drinks) in case of low blood glucose (hypoglycemia).  As a person with diabetes, your insulin and glucose levels are likely to fluctuate more in response to activity.

Suggested Blood Glucose levels

  • Right before dancing: For people with diabetes, 120 mg/dl or higher
  • If dancing longer than 30 minutes: Check glucose every 20-30 minutes. Glucose should be at or above 100 mg/dl to resume dance. If not, treat for low.
  • After dancing: Glucose should be within target established by you and your healthcare provider. Check glucose periodically for up to 24 hours to avoid hypoglycemia.

More Glucose Tips:

  • If you have type 1 and your glucose is above 250 mg/dL, check for ketones and only dance if your ketones are negative.
  • If you have type 2 and feel well, you can dance with glucose less than 300 mg/dL.
  • If glucose is less than 70 mg/dL, treat the low (or ask one of educators for help), and wait to exercise for a few hours. If it is 71-100 mg/dL, have a snack.
  • If you exercise for extended periods of time, check your glucose every 20-30 minutes during exercise, and at least every hour after you finish exercising.
  • Carry snacks to replenish energy burned or to treat for lows. Remember, 15 grams of carbohydrate last for about 30 minutes of exercise.

Blood Glucose Levels Before, During, and After Exercise May:

Drop. This is the most common response to moderate activity. How long and how hard you exercise, and the type of diabetes treatment affects how much the glucose drops.

Stay the same. If you don’t take any medications for your diabetes and your starting glucose is in a normal range, it is also likely to stay the same. If the activity is short in duration, or your insulin levels are low during exercise, your glucose levels may not change at all.

Rise.  If you exercise intensely, your body releases more glucose-raising hormones (like adrenaline) which gives your muscles the energy the need. Glucose levels may rise temporarily. A warm-down exercise after a vigorous workout will help bring glucose levels back closer to normal.


  • Plan ahead and either eat a carbohydrate snack (about 10-15 grams for every 15-30 minutes of exercise) or lower last insulin dose before start of dance.
    This will help you prevent going low during and after the dance.
  • You may need to take a smaller amount than usual to correct a post-exercise high glucose.
  • Do not exercise during peak period of insulin. Ask one of our educators to explain this if you do not know when your insulin peaks.
  • Do not inject insulin at the exercising limbs.

Pills that cause body to release insulin:

Certain medicines cause the body to release insulin. You may need to work with your healthcare provider to adjust the dosage prior to exercise to prevent hypoglycemia.

Types of insulin and medicine may cause a low:


  • Rapid-acting,
  • Short-acting
  • Intermediate-acting
  • Long-acting


  • Sulfonylureas (glyburide, glipizide)
  • Meglitinides (Prandin)

Please do not hesitate to ask any of our on-site diabetes educators regarding questions about your medications.

Blood Pressure

Suggested Blood Pressure levels

  • – systolic (top number) between 90 and 199mmHg and/or
  • – diastolic (bottom number) less than 109mmHg

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