Here are some helpful, yet simple tips for Diabetics (and, well, anyone really…)
- Anything that raises your heart rate counts! It doesn’t have to be a run, or a gym workout, or a DVD. If it gets you moving and raises your heart rate, hey, IT COUNTS. Which means the possibilities are, in fact, endless!
- Keep your doctor in the loop. Make them aware of what you are trying to do. Listen to any advice they offer (because they are offering it for a reason!)
- Check your blood sugars – yes it seems obvious, but I don’t think it is. It is wise to check your blood sugars after every form of exercise, so you can know if you need to make adjustments or not. And it’s okay to have a snack while working out – I usually have a little container of Greek yogurt while exercising. Plus…
- Carry a snack of carbohydrates on you – you never know when you will need it. All bodies respond differently to exercising, and sometimes we need a replenishment. This is okay, just make it something sensible 🙂
- Ease into working out – I see this happen a lot with my clients. You cannot go from being a couch potato to running a 5k overnight. You need to ease into it. I like to recommend starting with 10 minute increments. No, this is not being “wimpy” – this is being SMART.
- Strength train! It might be a little known fact but, as a diabetic, strength training at least twice a week helps me improve my blood sugar control.
Lifting weights, working with resistance bands, pushups, lunges, squats… all of these help control my blood sugars, which is crucial!
- Be a creature of habit – I know how hard this is, but if you can try to eat, exercise, and take your medicine at the same time each day, it helps to prevent hypoglycemia.
- Have a workout buddy – in any case, they can be very helpful, but having a workout buddy that knows you are a diabetic, and knows how to help you should you encounter low blood sugars. It is also wise to wear medical identification, or carry such info on your person. My mom bought me a medical alert Diabetes bracelet, and I think it gives both of us a tremendous amount of ease.
- Be kind to your feets – I am still struggling with this, as I am still struggling to find a pair of sneakers that don’t hurt me and my sneaker-hating feet. But proper footwear is key. One shoe does not universally work for all types of exercise. Running shoes are different from training shoes, which are different from shoes you would wear to play tennis, and all that jazz. They are not created equal. For certain activities, you need a different type of support.
- HYDRATE – I know, super obvious, right? But you might be surprised how many people are not hydrating properly before, during, and after a workout. Myself, I am always toting my water bottle around, and I get a lot of water intake, but this is crucial for those who need more hydration.
- Know the difference between pain and progress – Let me explain… muscle soreness is normal – its a sign that your muscles are being worked. Sudden pain is not normal. If you feel sudden pain, stop what you are doing. See a doctor or seek medical advice. You are not likely to suffer an injury unless you try to do too much, too soon.
Well, let me know how these tips workout for you! It’s gorgeous out so I think I am off to get my exercise in good old Mother Nature…
Happy Friday guys! 🙂