Type 1, sport and exercise

This is our favourite topic at the Family Centre! It is important for the whole family to be active for positive health outcomes. It is particularly important for people with type1 to be active, as exercise improves sensitivity to insulin which can help regulate blood sugar levels. Regular physical activity is also important for mental health which leads to improved moods and a positive outlook. Exercise can also help to improve symptoms of depression or anxiety. Being active is the key to a strong mind, strong body  and enhanced self-esteem.

Click here to download our own Information Guide: Type 1 and Excercise

General resources: Active families and free-range kids

Nature Play WA

You don't have to be part of organised sport to be physically active. There are lots of ways to be active that the whole family can enjoy, any time and with little or no equipment. The Family Centre has partnered with Nature Play WA, a fantastic WA organsiation that focuses on getting kids and families active outside. We love their Passport to an Amazing Childhood which is free, and contains a series of missions and adventures designed to get kids aged 3-12 to run, jump, climb, splash, invent and play! Get yours today!

The Family Centre has partnered with Nature Play WA for some exciting family camps. Keep an eye on our Calendar and sign up for The Blue Balloon our informative newsletter, for the latest news!


100 Ways to Unplug and Play

Print this resource off and stick it to your fridge. It can help guide your kids and family away from screen time and into more active leisure.



Mums and Dads of kids with type 1 need to have a good understanding of health to manage their child's needs, but sometimes they forget to take care of themselves. Staying physically active, eating well and achieving healthy body weight helps parents maintain good physical and mental health, which is important for managing the demands of life with a child with type 1. At the Family Centre, we're a brand partner with LiveLighter, a Western Australian healthy lifestyle campaign that has loads of recipes, tips and a very useful meal and activity planner. Check out the LiveLighter website, and come in to the Family Centre to read the LiveLighter resources, including recipes and information brochures. 

Specific resources: type 1 and exercise

Sometimes kids with type 1 are afraid to exercise because it can cause their blood sugar to spike or drop suddenly. However, with a bit of planning and some jellybeans on hand, anything is possible. There are plenty of resources out there with good information and we've found and listed some for you below. Feel free to give the Family Centre a call if you'd like to talk about managing exercise, or attend one of our Solutions Forums to hear from other people who've tackled the same issues as you.

Need inspiration?

Type 1 is not a barrier to exercise. There are no limits. Here are some amazing people with type 1 succeeding at reaching their sporting dreams. Watch this video from our friends at Welcome to Type 1, read this article about a pro cyclist who is beating diabetes, and then read this interview about an Olympic cross country skiier with type 1. Inspirational. 



HypoActive is a Victorian-based organisation of people with type 1 who love to be active. Their website has lots of great information including a round up of research on exercise and type 1 and some handy hints about injection sites, pre-game spikes from nerves, and post-exercise hypoglycaemia.



RunSweet is a website created and maintained by people with diabetes, who want to promote diabetes self care, and share knowledge on how to manage diabetes with sports and exercises. The medical content is edited by Dr Ian Gallen, who is a UK Physician and Endocrinologist, with a special interest in helping sportspeople with type 1 diabetes. RunSweet also has a new forum of people with type 1 talking sport; you may find some of the threads useful. 


More videos

We love these two videos from Team Novo Nordisk who are a team of pro athletes that all have type 1. How they manage exercise and T1D is explained in detail. Watch Part One and Part Two.

Books, Podcasts and Blog posts

Dr Sheri Colberg is a guru in all things type 1 and sport. Her website is here and you can read her columns and listen to her podcasts here. Her book, 'The Diabetic Athlete's Handbook' is a bible for active people with type 1. She talks about a wide variety of sports and uses real-life examples. The Family Centre's Library shelf has a copy you can read when you next visit.

Ginger Vieira is a type 1 diabetic, record-setting athlete, life coach and author who has written a number of books about living with type 1. We love her books at the Family Centre, they really help empower people to approach challenges to type 1 management (like sports) in a methodical way. We have a copy you can read at the Family Centre.


Disney resources

Disney has teamed up with Lilly Diabetes to create some great resources about fitness and type 1 for families.  You can find lots of short articles and helpful hints here.

Disney has also created a series of e-books for teens about managing type 1, which have sport themes and contain some useful life lessons. Click on 'Read Now' to check them out!


is all about getting kids (3-12+) to run, jump, climb, splash, invent and play! - See more at: http://www.natureplaywa.org.au/programs/passport-to-an-amazing-childhood#sthash.DW80LVbF.dpuf
is all about getting kids (3-12+) to run, jump, climb, splash, invent and play! - See more at: http://www.natureplaywa.org.au/programs/passport-to-an-amazing-childhood#sthash.DW80LVbF.dpuf

ESPN: Power Forward     READ NOW

Justin Cooper can’t believe it. He’s been chosen to captain his basketball team! Then everything changes. Justin is diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Suddenly Justin finds himself trying to navigate a changing life: learning how to manage his diabetes, all the while trying to keep his diagnosis from his friends. His diabetes care team tells him he can still play basketball, but he’s not so sure. And what’s more, Justin’s nerves are getting the best of him on the court. Justin knows he has to find a balance between his diabetes and the rest of his life, but how? And can he do it before he alienates his teammates for good?


ESPN: Up for the Challenge     READ NOW

Allie Campbell: centre midfielder. Allie should be thrilled at being made a starter on her soccer team. There’s only one problem: she’s just been diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, and she’s not sure she’s ready to get back out on the field. Between balancing her new responsibilities to her team and learning how to manage her diabetes, Allie just feels lost. But when Allie opens up to her friends and family about her feelings, she gets nothing but support. Soon Allie is back on the field, trying to put her worries behind her and be the best player she can be. But is she up for the challenge?


ESPN: Running Interference     READ NOW

Tim Johnston has two things on his mind: football and diabetes. As starting cornerback for his middle school’s football team, Tim’s got a lot of pressure riding on him, and managing his type 1 diabetes at school seems like just one more challenge. Then Tim meets Roger, another student with type 1 diabetes. There’s just one problem. Tim’s teammates don’t know he’s friends with Roger, and he’s not sure he wants to tell them. After all, Roger isn’t exactly the coolest kid at school. With the help of his new friend, can Tim learn to open up about his diabetes and stand up for what’s right?