Diabetes Management in the Spring and Summer
Last updated: March 2022
In the past week where I live, weather wise, we had rain, snow, a ‘bring-down-the-hydro-poles’ ice storm and now warm sunshine. It’s an understatement to say I can’t wait for ‘real’ spring and true summer to come. As a diabetic who relies heavily on being able to walk for my exercise, the winter that just ended snookered me out of all of it. This winter was a true Canadian winter. And I whined through most of it for what it interfered with.
Benefits of walking
I am SO looking forward to getting out there and walking again. Walking for me is more than just walking. It is an exercise that helps keep my diabetes in a good place. It frees my mind when it gets cluttered up with life. It does an amazing job of releasing stress. It’s almost free (except for wearing apparel and other things).
Diabetes management tips for the spring and summer season
Having said all that, there are things to consider as we should be considering with every change of season.
As diabetics, we need to do a lot of self-care to be healthy whether it’s eating right, exercising, taking care of our mental health etc.
Fruits and vegetables
Spring and summer bring fresh fruits and vegetables. Although I like frozen fruits and veggies and all the foods I can make with them, nothing beats fresh. You can’t go wrong with fresh veggies when you live with diabetes. I love fresh fruit, even though I know I have to limit the amounts so I don’t overload my carbs at one time. Nothing tastes better than fresh blueberries and strawberries, and tomatoes!
When I specifically think about spring and summer I think about the sun, protection from the sun, the heat, the humidity and how that can affect my self-care. When I think of the self-care needed to be outside to garden or walk, I know I have to protect my skin. I have had passing thoughts about the sun and the damage it can do but it really hit home recently when I was at a conference and met people who are living with skin cancer. I want to share two good articles from Type2diabetes.com's sister site, Skincancer.net. Here are two articles that can serve to remind us of how to stay safe and do good self-care while being outdoors for our chosen exercise:
Hats are also essential for spring and summer. It protects the skin on our head from the sun. Yup, under all that hair is skin. I have heard many women say they don’t require a hat in summer. There’s kind of a denial that harm could be done to the skin on our heads. My response? Well, a good hat protects your hair colour. That usually gets them to wear a hat. Speaking as a woman, if you appeal to my vanity, I’m likely to listen.
Walking or gardening in the heat requires hydration, good hydration. Did you also know that good hydration supports diabetes? It does. Many of the meds we take require our kidneys to flush out the excess sugars. If we have to take the meds, we have to do our part to make them work which involves more than just swallowing the pills.
Take care of the lungs
Taking care of our lungs is also important. The pancreas isn’t the only organ to consider when you’re diabetic. I’m asthmatic. Thankfully it is mainly exercise induced and pretty easy to control. Humidity can really play havoc with your breathing. I take my meds as prescribed so I can breathe while I exercise.
And finally, my feet. Comfortable shoes are important for any outdoor activity especially when you’re diabetic. Small sores can become big problems if we don’t look after our feet.
I am oh so happy spring has come, and summer is on the horizon. I will look after myself as best I can to stay healthy with my diabetes.
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