The weekend warrior, the morning jogger, and the park walker are just a few examples of people who exercise routinely with type 1 diabetes. Exercise and staying physically active are important factors in the overall health of the human body.
Whether you are looking for a way to attain a manageable weight, gain muscle size and strength or simply improve your cardiovascular stamina, consult your physician, because there is a program for everyone!
Diabetes.org states, “A sound exercise program can also when people with type 1 diabetes better use insulin and reduce their risk of heart disease”.
We know that it is imperative to assure the individual’s blood glucose levels do not become either too low or too high while exercising. According to The American Diabetes Association, “Increased activity may mean that you need to lower your insulin dose or eat some extra carbohydrates before exercising to keep your blood glucose in a safe range. Some activities may cause your blood glucose to drop quickly while others do not”.
There are many approaches and tips to create a manageable exercise program regardless of your current state of physical health.
Here are some tips:
- Maintain a daily exercise diary containing the exercise(s) performed.
- Record the amount of time spent physically active.
- Monitor glucose levels before and after the activity.
- Keep in mind the time and amount of recent insulin dose.
- Food intake before, during and after exercising.
- Arrive at the park, beach or gym with fast-acting sugar sources.
- Have a medical emergency bracelet with an emergency contact number.
- Don’t hesitate to take a break. Only you know how your body feels.
- Most importantly, have GOALS and write them down!
Goals are the trick to ensuring positive advancements in a physical activity program. These are not necessarily speed or strength, but how you feel afterwards both physically and mentally. A chosen exercise should minimize the risks and maximize the benefits for the person who is active.
A multitude of possible options include:
- Walking the dog
- Vacuuming the house
- Walking while window shopping at a favorite mall.
- Taking the stairs in place of an elevator.
Think of being active as a personal endeavor to improve your health and enhance your time here on Earth. Only you can put forth the effort in takes to create a better life for yourself. Excuses and misinformation can be replaced with knowledge and preparation, allowing a person with diabetes type 1 the opportunity to enjoy a physically active lifestyle.