After a long cold winter in the east, Spring is finally here! With the warmer weather come many more outdoor activities. If you are anything like me, you are probably much more active during these months. Here are some of my tips to help manage your diabetes better while enjoying the outdoors.
1. Since the days are longer, many of us don’t get home until later. Make sure you have extra fast acting sugars with you in case of a low blood sugar.
2. For most, being more active means less insulin. Don’t be afraid to use your temporary basals to reduce your background insulin.
3. Being more active and warmer weather usually, make us sweat more. This can lead to sensor and pump tape not adhering as well. Buy a good over the counter tape to ensure these devices stay on for their duration.
4. On extremely hot days, be careful of your insulin overheating. If you carry pens, try to keep them in a cool place and if you wear a pump you might consider a Frio pack. It is a gel-like substance, that when submerged in water becomes cool enough to protect your insulin from the heat. Simply put the pack in your pump case and off you go!
5. Drink plenty of water!! The more we sweat, the more we need to replenish our fluids. In addition to being good for you, it also makes our continuous glucose monitors work more efficiently as they are measuring interstitial fluids in our body.
6. Try to maintain a healthy diet. Along with summer, comes ice cream, barbeques, and foods we don’t usually eat. As it is fine to indulge these treats, just remember moderation is the key.
7. Never swim alone. This tip is actually for everyone, diabetic or not. It is always important to have someone with you while in the pool or at the beach in case you get a cramp, have a low blood sugar or hurt yourself.
8. Don’t forget to cover your meals! Let's face it, our summer schedules are usually a lot more relaxed than during the school year. Different schedules usually mean eating meals at different times. Some pumps have alarms you can set to go off if you don’t cover during a usual eating time.
9. Have fun! Don’t let your diabetes stop you from doing anything! Just be safe!