Spring Is In The Air!

Spring Is In The Air: Outdoor Activity Ideas

Spring is finally in the air! Saturday March 19, 2016 marked the first day of spring. Many of us who live in cold climates celebrate and anticipate this time of year. We look forward to fresh air, warmer temperatures and more day light. You may be feeling inspired to get some more activity now that you can comfortably go outside.

The 2016 Standards of Care Medical In Diabetes from the American Diabetes Associations (ADA) has made the following recommendation for physical activity:

  • Adults with diabetes should perform at least 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity. Activity should be spread over at least 3 days per week with no more than 2 consecutive days without exercise.

Benefits of physical activity:

What else do I need to know to be safe?

First, make sure to discuss with your physician if it is safe for you to be physically active and if there are any restrictions he/she wants you to follow.

  • If you take insulin or insulin secretagogues (sulfonylureas and glinides) there is a risk of a low blood sugar with physical activity.
    • Low blood sugar risk can be reduced by:
      • Decreasing insulin dose
      • Lowering oral medication amount
      • Eating a carbohydrate snack before a planned activity.
      • ***Discuss with your diabetes doctor to determine what adjustment is best for you***
    • Checking you blood sugar (with a blood sugar monitor) before, during and after exercise can also reduce the risk of a low blood sugar.
    • Keep quick acting carbohydrates on hand (juice or glucose tablets) if a low blood sugar does occur.
  • If you have any of the following conditions/complications your diabetes doctor may want to restrict certain activities: coronary artery disease, retinopathy, peripheral neuropathy, and autonomic neuropathy.
  • Keep yourself well hydrated. Physical activity will likely cause you to sweet resulting in fluid and salt loss. Dehydration will make physical activity more challenging and can raise your blood sugar level.
  • Make sure you have proper fitting shoes.

What are some good outdoor activities?

The obvious:

  • Talk a walk.
    • Walk alone, with a friend, start a walking club, walk your dog
  • Bike ride
  • Play tennis
  • Golf (walk instead of taking a golf cart)
  • Have a basketball net? Shoot some hoops.
  • Swim (depending on where you live you might have to wait a few more months to enjoy this activity!)

New and different ideas:

  • Find a near by nature trail. Take a hike.
  • Train for an event: Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes or Tour de Cure
  • Rollerblade
  • Organize a corporate sport league: kickball, softball, flag football, or soccer
  • Garden
  • Mow the lawn
  • Play catch with your kids
  • Kayak
  • Canoe
  • Play Frisbee golf
  • Try yoga or meditating in your backyard
  • You don't need the beach. Put up a net in your back yard and invite friends over play.
  • Jump rope
  • Wash your car

To learn more check out the article: Fitness & Physical Activity

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