Diabetes Self-Management Articles

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Planning an Active Summer

by Richard M. Weil, MEd, CDE

  • Do not exercise if you are currently experiencing frequent highs and lows, have a recent history of severe hypoglycemia, or have recently had diabetic ketoacidosis. In such situations, exercise can further destabilize blood glucose control and should be delayed until control is established.
  • Wear shoes and socks that fit properly, and always inspect your feet before and after activity for blisters or sores. See tips for proper footwear. If you’re on a trip and suspect you have a blister, treat it immediately, even if it means asking the group to stop. If you wait, the blister will get worse and increase the risk of infection.
  • Wear light, comfortable clothing and a hat to keep the sun off your head. Carry a bandana that you can soak in cold water to wipe off your face and neck.
  • Even if the group leaders don’t take you through a stretching session, spend 5–10 minutes stretching before you walk, bike, or hike.

A few more tips
If you’re planning to hike, do a vigorous bicycle tour, or participate in a day-long walk, here are a few more things to keep in mind:

  • Monitor your blood sugar before the hike, bike, or walk and several times during it. You should discuss with your doctor or diabetes educator what safe levels are for you and when and how to treat highs and lows.
  • Speak with your doctor or diabetes educator about snack and insulin adjustments for the day of your outing. It may be necessary to reduce your long-acting insulin in the morning since you’ll be out and active for most of the day.
  • Make sure you have food available at all times.
  • If you’d like to hike but don’t have hiking boots, inquire about a hike that doesn’t require them. Many gentle hikes are possible with sturdy walking shoes.

An active summer weekend or vacation is a wonderful opportunity to put all your fitness to good use, explore new activities, meet new people, and enhance your health. There’s never been a better time to do it, and ample opportunities exist for everyone of every age and fitness level. Have a healthy, active summer!

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Also in this article:
Choosing Footwear
Getting Out And About
Walking Tips
Weekly Walking Program
Weekly Stationary Bike Program



More articles on Exercise



Statements and opinions expressed on this Web site are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the publishers or advertisers. The information provided on this Web site should not be construed as medical instruction. Consult appropriate health-care professionals before taking action based on this information.



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