Easy At-Home Gym Hacks

We are nearly a year into the pandemic, which has all but frozen life as we used to know it. It has required a shift in thinking, and a transition to doing most everything at home: work, school, and even exercise. Most gyms across the country are either still closed or operating at extremely limited capacity, and many people feel more comfortable working out from the comfort of their own homes until herd immunity is achieved in the United States.

But how can you get a good, full-body workout at home, when time, space, and equipment is limited? These are our top tips.

Keep a Routine

The best workout is the one you’ll do consistently, and that means making your exercise time routine. It should be no different than when you would typically go to a physical gym: exercise should happen during the same time and in the same place every day.

This also helps create boundaries with work and family. If you go to the garage every morning at 6 a.m. for dedicated “gym” time, the kids will soon learn that you’re not available to play then. Alternatively, if you block out 20 minutes at noon every day for a run on your Outlook calendar, your boss is much less likely to schedule impromptu meetings during that time.

Also, it’s important to know yourself. If you’re a morning person and start to fade around dinnertime, don’t wait to get your exercise in after the kids go to sleep. By prioritizing your exercise time and making it routine, you’re guaranteed to make it a habit that will stick.

Set Yourself Up for Success

Adjusting to home workouts does not need to be complicated. You can start small with Youtube yoga and dance videos, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, and even meditation to deal with stress. Listening to Spotify or Pandora while working out can help bring fresh music to your routine, too.

Accumulating some at-home gym equipment can also keep you stimulated and less likely to become bored.

Michelle, from Madison, Wisconsin, says that she uses the Nike training app religiously, as it helps prevent ennui and always mixes up workouts. The app comes with multi-week programs, including a prescribed series of workouts, nutrition tips, and wellness guidance to help users build healthy habits. Each flexible program is led by a Nike Master Trainer and is created to cater to those working out at home.

Additionally, Michelle recommends Bowflex adjustable dumbbells, which replace 15 sets of weights! The weights adjust from 5 up to 52.5 lbs each. By easily turning the dial you can change the resistance, enabling you to gradually increase your strength.

Ryan, from Albany, New York, uses the Bowflex C6 bike in combination with the Peloton app (which is just $15 per month!). The bike has 100 levels of resistance, just like the Peloton bike, but is half the cost, so you can follow along to Peloton workouts while saving a ton of money.

If you’re not into collecting a ton of equipment but want to build strength and get your heart rate up, simply investing in a kettlebell and a jump rope can be all you need to take squats and lunges to the next level.

If you don’t want to buy all new equipment for your home, see if you can crowdsource some from friends and family. Pool resources together, and share weights, a rack, a bicycle, treadmill, or other equipment, to make assembling an at-home gym more affordable.

Jennifer, from Des Moines, Iowa, says, “My sister lives across town and has a great treadmill in her garage. She works the night shift and I work during the day, so will pop on over to her house to get a run in on cold mornings while she’s still at work. It works perfectly.”

Some people have even had luck renting equipment or even borrowing equipment from their gyms while they are closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Jessica, from Boulder, Colorado, says. “I emailed my local rec center, and they’ve let me borrow some heavier kettlebells that would have been prohibitively expensive to buy. They let members borrow equipment for 72 hours, which works perfectly to spice up my workout routines.”

exercise accountability buddy

Photo credit: iStock

Find an Accountability Buddy

No one is inspired to exercise all the time. Having a friend or family member checking in with you to make sure you’re meeting your fitness goals can be a crucial nudge to help you stick to your routine. Perhaps you have a weekly check-in call with a friend every Friday to review what you did to get your heart pumping, or you email different workout plans to each other every week to stay motivated.

If you feel safe enough to do so, maybe you meet someone for a walk each weekend, to get fresh air and a change of scenery. Whatever you do, it should help you stay motivated, not hinder your progress.

Even if your accountability buddy isn’t actively trying to improve their fitness or lose weight, they could benefit too: a recent study showed that when 130 couples were tracked over six months, the accountability buddy not actively trying to lose weight had success in some weight loss too, if their partner was on an exercise plan.

Make It Fun!

In this strange time, it’s important to make exercise fun. Have goals and work hard to meet them, but make sure to celebrate your progress, too. Maybe you’re trying to deadlift 150 lbs, lower your HbA1c, do twenty weighted lunges in a row, or run a faster mile.

If and when you meet those goals, celebrate them! This may look different in 2021, but ordering takeaway coffee from a favorite coffee shop, ordering your favorite candle online, or buying a new swimsuit are all well-deserved awards for hard work put in at home.

Working out at home does not need to be boring or uninspired. With these tips, you can keep your fitness levels high, stay motivated, save money, and get healthier, even during the quarantine. Remember to always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.

Have you been working out at home during the pandemic? How is it going for you? What strategies or advice would you give others? Share this post and comment below!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

5 Ways to Make Time for Exercise

Prioritizing yourself isn’t easy. Whether your busy taking care of kids, an elderly parent, hustling at your job, or just life in general, it is sometimes hard to remember to take of yourself. This means getting adequate sleep, checking your blood sugar regularly, eating a proper diet and getting in physical activity. All of which can also help you better manage your diabetes and overall health. But finding the time is not an easy feat.

Here are 5 ways you can make the time for exercise:

Make an Appointment

Just like you schedule meetings, lunch dates, and family functions, your hour of exercise deserves a daily slot too. Once it is on your schedule, you can plan other commitments accordingly, and prioritize your health.

Meal Prep

Many people spend a great deal of time preparing meals for themselves and their families. This can really eat up a good chunk of your free time. Think ahead and meal prep. You can easily prepare an entire week’s worth of meals in just a few hours, freeing up enough time each day to get yourself moving!

Work Within Your Confinements

Making time is easier said than done. And many people work long hours, two jobs, and have other responsibilities that do not afford a lot of free time. Get creative. There are things you can do, some like calisthenics throughout the day to keep your blood flowing. You can also look to invest in a desk bike or an under the desk elliptical. These gems are a worthy investment if you are unable to find time to go to a gym. It will allow you to work and work out at the same time!

Find a Workout Buddy

Staying accountable is a key to success, so having someone there to push you can only help you to achieve your goals. You would be more likely to take a long stroll at 6 am with some good conversation rather than go at it alone. Reach out to friends and see if they’d be interested, I bet you’d be surprised at the response!

Think Big Picture

We are often thinking of others before ourselves, which shows we care. We mustn’t forget the importance of making our health a priority, so we can be around for our loved ones for a long time to come. If you are bogged down with work or consumed with other things, remember health is wealth, and that must come first!

Putting ourselves first isn’t something we easily do, but it is important for our long-term health. A little bit of physical activity can go a long way in managing your diabetes and your overall health!

Have you found time for exercise despite being too busy? What motivates you on a day-to-day basis?

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Mandy Marquardt: Redefining Diabetes Through Racing

Mandy Marquardt is a Track Cyclist for the USA Cycling National Team and Team Novo Nordisk, the world’s first all-diabetes professional cycling team. Their mission is to inspire, educate and empower everyone affected by diabetes. Mandy has been part of the team since 2010 and believes what the team does really makes a difference to the people in our community – racing and inspiring everyone around the world affected by diabetes is something that brings her great joy.

Thank you so much Mandy for taking the time to answer our questions! We know you are an inspiration to many and would love to share your story!

At what age were you diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?

I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 16 while racing and living in Mannheim, Germany with my father.

What were your symptoms?

I surprisingly didn’t have any symptoms that I was aware of and the diagnosis was a shock. There were signs now that I look back at what I thought were some odd incidents. For example, I would take forever to warm up and felt this overwhelming feeling of exhaustion and tiredness frequently. I thought it could have been from the stress of school and training hard.

Along with my type 1 diagnosis, I shortly after found out I have hypothyroidism too, so having that all discovered and learning to get it under control was such a good feeling.

Being diagnosed as a child is hard, how did you handle your diagnosis? Were you quiet about it or were you vocal and welcomed the opportunity to educate?

When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t know anyone else living with type 1 diabetes. While hospitalized for two weeks, a doctor told me I would never be able to compete at a high level again in the sport of cycling. I was heartbroken, but my parents were my biggest supporters, and helped me get back on the bike. I always knew it was my happy place. I started riding again, and just training for fun and told myself, we’ll see what happens.

Joining Team Novo Nordisk in 2010, racing amongst other athletes with type 1 diabetes and learning how to talk about my diagnosis gave me hope.

At what point in your life did you get active with fitness and more specifically, cycling?

I was born in Mannheim, Germany and moved to South Florida at the age of 6. My parents got me involved with the local swim team and I started playing tennis. I picked up running and was interested in competing in triathlons. In 2002 at the age of 10, my dad came across The Brian Piccolo Velodrome, which was a short drive from our home and was a safe place to learn to ride competitively. A year later, my parents and I drove to Texas to compete in the 2003 U.S. Junior Women’s 10-12 Road National Championships and I won two gold medals in the criterium and time trial and a silver in the road race – I was hooked.

I continued to race both the road and track discipline for years. My success on the track has currently led to 18 U.S. National titles and 3 American National Records (records all with type 1 diabetes).

Photo credit: Team Novo Nordisk

At what point did you decide to do it professionally?

After I graduated from the Pennsylvania State University – Penn State Lehigh Valley commonwealth campus in the Spring of 2014, I was invited to a USA Cycling camp that fall.

Afterwards I was invited to go represent the United States at my first UCI Track World Cup in Guadalajara, Mexico. I was so terrified to compete at that level, but now, six years later, I’m right up there with the world’s best, ranked 12th in UCI World Sprint ranking and one step closer to hopefully competing at my first Olympic Games. It’s been a slow and steady process, but if diabetes has taught me anything, it is consistency, patience and resilience.

In June of 2020, I was honored that USA Cycling named me as a member of the Long Team for Women’s Track Cycling. The final selection will be made next year, since the Tokyo Games have been rescheduled for July 23-August 8, 2021.

Did type 1 diabetes ever come in the way of your training or races?

Oh absolutely. It can be a challenge at times and the race doesn’t pause for me. Training and racing at this level, I’ve conditioned and adapted my body to handle the stress and workload, but occasionally the body will do what it wants. Of course, sometimes, it’s still frustrating when my blood sugars aren’t cooperating, like [when]  training and competing at altitude, going through different periods of my training cycle, juggling time zones and everything life throws at me.

I work closely with a sports psychologist and my team’s diabetes educator. Through a lot of trial and error, I’ve found what routine and nutritional habits work best for me and I’m still always learning and improving.

What do you use to help you manage your diabetes? Do you use a pump or do you prefer injections? Do you use a continuous glucose monitor (CGM) to help you monitor your blood sugar levels?

I use a continuous glucose monitor and take injections. It’s helpful to have real-time data around training, racing and traveling to better my diabetes management and performance – getting the most out of my training and recovery. Plus, I want to live a long healthy life, without complications!

Photo credit: Team Novo Nordisk

Photo credit: Team Novo Nordisk

What do you recommend to other athletes when it comes to managing your blood sugars during this type of activity?

Whether competing at a high level or just going out to exercise, always be prepared. I love my snacks! My favorites are the Honey Stinger waffles, performance chews, and protein snack bars! It’s important to be mindful about nutrition and fueling, and incorporating more protein, and eating consistently through the day. Most importantly, be patient and seek resources. My team, Team Novo Nordisk has many great resources and tips on their website too!

I know you are very active within the community, what are some of the things you’ve been up to lately?

I love my cycling career, but I think it’s important to have a balance between my personal and professional life. I recently partnered with Mammoth Creameries, a yummy keto-friendly ice cream founded by Tim Krauss, who is living with type 1 diabetes – it’s a pretty sweet partnership!

I also recently launched my logo and merchandise. The diabetes community has always been inspiring and supportive. I feel that my logo really puts my journey and the connection with the diabetes community in perspective. The blue circle is the global symbol for diabetes – that we are all connected in a special way and my initials subtly share a story that we are all greater than our highs and lows. For my merchandise highlighted with my logo, I wanted to create a wide range of awesome and high quality clothing and products that people can feel inspired and connected with.

Where do you see yourself both personally and professionally in 5-10 years?

Well, currently training hard in hopes of being selected for my first Olympic Team! I’d like to aim for the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. So, in 5-10 years, I’d love to hopefully be a 2-time Olympian. Personally, I’d like to continue my education and earn my Masters Degree. I have an undergraduate degree in Business Management and Marketing from The Pennsylvania State University – Penn State Lehigh Valley (’14) commonwealth campus. I want to continue to prove to myself what I’m capable of as an athlete and what is possible with diabetes.

What would you say to the children out there, living with type 1 diabetes, who aspire to do great things when it comes to sports and fitness?

Go for it! Never limit yourself and your own capabilities. Use your platform to create awareness and inspire and connect with others affected by diabetes. The Founder and CEO of Team Novo Nordisk, who is also living and racing with diabetes says, “Diabetes only chooses the champions.”

Mandy, thank you for taking the time to answer our questions! We will continue to follow your journey and can’t wait to see more great things from you! We wish you all the best!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

My Running Journey with Type 1 Diabetes

By Mariel Sotelo

I am 43 years old, was diagnosed just before I turned 20 years old.

The doctor misdiagnosed me with type 2. After the diagnosis of my middle daughter, I understood why I was misdiagnosed. She was diagnosed as a MODY 3 and she is now being treated with oral medication. I started with oral medication and three years later, I got married and was planning to grow our family. I started to research insulin pumps. My endocrinologist had no idea about any of the pumps, but he signed off on the paperwork within a few months of me getting pregnant with my first daughter. As she turned one, I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter. After I had my second daughter the weight just piled on from there. After my oldest started school is when I decided to do something about the weight and my sugar. I met the gym owner who is the one responsible for me starting my love/hate relationship with running.

In 2013 we started to train for our first half marathon. It was not an easy thing for me to do. I could not just say I am going out for a run like the rest of them. Why? Because I have type 1 diabetes (T1D) and at first it was trial and error just to figure out how to handle the pump, the blood glucose, and the effort put into it. I always love the idea of having to use less insulin after a run.

marathon medals

Photo credit: Mariel Sotelo

After running a few more half marathons, everyone decided it was time to go to the next level. I was a little scared, but not because of my diabetes. I was scared because everyone was getting faster and it seemed like I wasn’t making any progress. I have continued to run no matter how fast or how slow I am. I know I have T1D and that alone is a hassle sometimes, but I know that a lot of the women that now run in the group say that they started and continue to run because of me! They feel inspired when they see that no matter what, I do not back out from running.

Even COVID-19 did not stop me from completing a challenge I had signed up for back in November of 2019. My first run was completing a half marathon in May which I had to do a week after a 14-day quarantine after contracting COVID-19 from work and having mild symptoms. I have to say, I did have some concerns with my lungs, but I did okay and was able to finish. On October 25th, I completed my 8th marathon which was part of the challenge. On the weekend of November 14th and 15th, I finished my 9th marathon. I ran 14 miles on the 14th for World Diabetes Day and 12.2 miles on the 15th to complete my run.

Diabetes has not stopped me from running! I am not the fastest runner of the group but I always reach the finish line!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Exercise: Getting Started with Type 2 Diabetes

Everyone knows that if you live with type 2 diabetes, exercise will be beneficial not only for your blood sugars, but for your overall health and well-being. The tougher issue is to know where, when, and how to get started. Learn more about the risks, benefits, and factors to consider when starting an exercise regimen while living with type 2 diabetes. Please note: always check with your doctor before beginning any new exercise routine.

Benefits

The benefits of exercise for people with type 2 diabetes are well-known. Exercise helps maintain tighter blood sugar control, lowers the risk for heart disease and other cardiovascular complications, improves blood pressure levels, strengthens muscles and bones, and helps to improve quality of sleep and the body’s ability to handle stress. According to the CDC, adults should aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity (like walking) or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity physical activity (like jogging or dancing) each week.

Factors to Consider

The best type of exercise is the type that you’ll do regularly, so a main factor to consider is finding something that you like doing. If you dislike the gym, don’t force yourself into a habit of going. If you love the outdoors, craft your fitness routine around hiking or a morning walk. If you love music, maybe take up dancing. The options are endless, so find an activity that you’ll enjoy, and you’re more likely to stick with it!

Recommended Types of Exercise

  • Walking
  • Jogging/Running
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Dancing
  • Weight/Strength Training
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Swimming

Additionally, making a fitness activity a habit is the best way to make sure you do it regularly. Pair a walk while sipping your morning coffee each day, or make a date with a friend each Saturday afternoon for a hike in a local park. Opt to bike to work a few times per week, or go to the grocery store on foot, instead of driving. Creating a habit of exercise is the best way to make sure you stick to a new routine.

Make your fitness routine known by sharing your intentions with family and friends, and get them in on it, too. Having people around who support your new lifestyle will ensure that you keep at it, and they’ll benefit from joining in as well. It is also beneficial to have tech help you out. Read up on the 10 best fitness apps for beginners, and prepare to get hooked on being active, tracking your progress, and meeting measurable goals while getting healthier.

Precautions to Take

If you’re new to exercise, it’s important to ease into it. Start with walking, or simply moving more: take the stairs instead of the elevator, or park farther away from the entrance to the grocery store when you do your weekly shopping. Wear a pedometer or fitness watch to track your steps, and aim to get 10,000 each day.

It’s also important to check in with your doctor or care provider before starting any new exercise routine, to make sure you are healthy enough to begin. Also seek their input and advice on what exercise they recommend for you to get started. You will also want to discuss any potential adjustments to any of your diabetes medications before starting a new routine. Additionally, make sure you have quality shoes for walking and exercising, as healthy foot maintenance is vital for people with diabetes.

Lastly, make sure you’re always prepared for your workout with checking your blood sugar before, during, and afterwards to make sure you’re within your target range, and always carry low snacks and plenty of water with you to make sure you’re staying hydrated and protected from hypoglycemia while exercising.

It’s crucial to set realistic goals for your exercise. Are you looking for more peace of mind? To lose weight? To have a healthier HbA1c? Spend more time outside? Really get a clear focus on what you want to accomplish, and aim your exercise routine around that goal. Remember, start small so you don’t get overwhelmed.

Lastly, make sure you have fun. Exercise is about building healthier habits, getting your heart rate pumping, and enjoying yourself while doing something that’s good for you. If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right! Make sure to enjoy yourself, and you’ll find that a healthy exercise routine builds dividends over time.

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Former NFL Player with Type 1 Diabetes Shares His Story

Jake Byrne was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes as a teen, and he didn’t let his condition stop him from pursuing his dreams of playing professional football. He also wrote a book to inspire others with type 1 diabetes to pursue their dreams. We talked to Jake about his journey and the advice he would give to young people recently diagnosed. 

How old were you when you first became interested in football?

Since I was a little kid. My parents are from Wisconsin, and I grew up watching the Green Bay Packers every Sunday. I first started playing football in the 3rd grade.

When were you diagnosed with type 1 diabetes?

I was diagnosed when I was a sophomore in high school; I was 15 years old.

How did your diagnosis affect the trajectory of your football career at the time?

The largest hurdle to overcome was how to manage a new disease with the physical and mental demands the game of football put on someone’s body.

Did you become discouraged about your future?

Yes, the most noticeable change was the sudden weight loss. I lost around 30 lbs. and had to figure out how to adjust to a completely new lifestyle living with T1D.

What worried you the most, and how did you move forward?

How to manage my blood sugar was my biggest worry. Stabilizing my blood sugar to be able to stay in a healthy range for a 2-3 hr. game or practice was such a challenge. There was just not a lot of information or people I knew that could provide helpful insight on how to manage in such an extreme environment. For the most part, it was trial and error that was my method of finding what worked for me.

What was your most memorable football experience?

I have a couple. I never thought I would make it as far as I did in my football career. I always wanted to make it to the NFL, but I set more short-term goals that seemed realistic at the time. The first was after I finally got in a good rhythm with my diabetes and football and was able to play well enough to earn my first scholarship offer from the University of Arkansas. This eventually led to several other offers, which lead to my decision to attend the University of Wisconsin. The second was my Junior year when we beat Ohio State (who was #1 in the country), which lead us to become Big10 Champions earning us an invitation to play in the rose bowl in Pasadena, CA. The third was when I finally got a shot to play in my first NFL game on Sunday for the Huston Texans.

What was the most challenging aspect for you in regard to playing football with type 1 diabetes?

Keeping my blood sugar in a safe range. Lows were always a struggle.

Tell us a little bit about your book. What prompted you to write it? What was the inspiration and motivation behind it?

The inspiration behind the book started when I first received a letter from a young kid who was struggling to convince his parents to let him play football, triggering the feelings around how lost I was when I was first diagnosed. I was looking for some hope and guidance on how to move forward. From that point, I wanted to find a way to share my story to help others that were going through a difficult time overcoming adversity.

*Editor’s note: Jake’s book, “First and Goal: What Football Taught Me About Never Giving Up”, can be purchased on Amazon.

Can you tell us more about how having type 1 diabetes affected your football career experiences and vice versa?

Playing football at a high level is a challenge in itself. Then diabetes adds a level of complexity and discipline on top of that no-one else has to deal with.

Did the training and commitment involved in playing the sport at such a high level translate to more optimal diabetes management?

Absolutely, the amount of physical activity involved in sports like football leaves very little room for error. You can’t take one second off with T1D.

What advice would you give to newly-diagnosed kids and teens who have professional sports aspirations?

Never let diabetes set your limitations. Control your diabetes; don’t let it control you. It all comes down to your willingness to be disciplined in having a proactive approach to their daily routine to match your lifestyle.

Where are you today, and how do you think type 1 diabetes affected your path, overall?

Diabetes taught me very quickly that I had to be very disciplined in everything I do; it ingrained a work ethic and a sense of responsibility that is now part of who I am. That mindset allowed me to chase my dreams to play in the NFL, transition into my career into robotics, and eventually led to an opportunity to work for Locus Robotics as the Director of Customer Success. T1D taught me that through my life that if you work hard and have a thought-out plan, you can accomplish anything you set out to do.

Thank you for taking the time to speak to us, Jake. Your story is sure to be an inspiration to many young athletes with type 1 diabetes. We wish you all the very best in all your future endeavors!

***

Are you a competitive athlete with type 1 diabetes? What challenges have you faced and what advice would you give?

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors & Prevention

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, one’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes depend on a combination of environmental, lifestyle and genetic risk factors. Some factors, like physical activity and eating habits, are more in one’s control than factors like family history or ethnicity, but with the right planning and action, people can help reduce their odds, and sometimes completely prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

Type 2 Diabetes Risk Factors

  • Being overweight (having a body mass index of 25-29.9) or obese (having a body mass index of 30 or more). You can calculate your body mass index (BMI) here.
  • Being 45 or older
  • Having a family history of type 2 diabetes
  • Are African American, Alaska Native, American Indian, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander
  • Living with high blood pressure
  • Having a low level of HDL cholesterol OR a high level of triglycerides
  • Previously had gestational diabetes OR gave birth to a baby weighing 9 pounds or more
  • Not getting regular exercise
  • Having a history of heart disease/stroke

The American Diabetes Association also has a free diabetes risk test that one can take to assess their individual risk.

Preventing Type 2 Diabetes

There are some scientifically proven ways to prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes, if one is at higher risk for the disease. Mainly, losing weight if one is overweight or obese and becoming more physically active (increasing activity to at least 150 minutes per week) are the most effective ways to prevent or delay the onset of the disease.

The National Diabetes Prevention Program is an evidence-based lifestyle change program, covered by most health plans, that works with patients at risk for type 2 diabetes to prevent or delay the onset of the disease. This program has a hyper focus on everyday habits one can change and adopt to lower their risk of developing type 2 diabetes, like ways to increase physical activity and helpful tips and advice for healthier eating. Studies have proven the success of the program: participants who achieved weight loss of 5-7% of their body weight reduced their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58%.

A 10-year follow-up study, The Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study, showed that participants in the intervention group were still 30% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes a decade later than individuals in the placebo group. Participants who did develop type 2 diabetes delayed the onset of it by about four years.

Other Ways to Prevent Type 2 Diabetes

If the National Diabetes Prevention Program isn’t covered by your health plan or a program doesn’t exist in your area, there are three main ways to prevent or delay the onset of diabetes on your own (always consult your doctor before beginning any weight loss plan):

  • If you are overweight or obese, lose 5-7% of your body weight
  • Get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, or aim for 30 minutes most days of the week
  • Eat smaller portions of the foods you love, and replace sugar-sweetened beverages with water

Ask your healthcare provider for additional advice about preventing or delaying the onset of diabetes, including taking or omitting certain medications to mitigate your risk of developing the disease.

Health tip: Replace sugar-sweetened beverages with water. | Photo credit: Adobe Stock

Managing Prediabetes

Prediabetes is when one’s blood glucose is higher than normal, but not high enough to diagnose as diabetes. Prediabetes is a serious condition, because it significantly raises the likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. About 1 in 3 Americans has prediabetes, and it can be hard to track and diagnose, because it often doesn’t have any symptoms, and people who have prediabetes usually feel fine. It is crucially important that all people regularly see their primary care providers for routine check-ups, as prediabetes can often be caught in the early stages and managed well when detected early. Prediabetes is often called “borderline diabetes” or “glucose intolerance” or “impaired glucose intolerance”.

One can manage their prediabetes and prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes by losing weight (if needed), becoming more physically active, and following a reduced-calorie diet plan. Consult with your doctor if you think you have prediabetes, and request a glucose test for confirmation and to make a treatment plan. With a little planning and proactive action, you can delay or completely prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.

Have you recently been diagnosed with prediabetes, and/or have you started a program to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes? What tactics and strategies have been most successful for you? Share this post and comment below; we love hearing from our readers!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Type 1 College Athlete Shares His Success Story

It is refreshing to see so many people living with type one diabetes in the sports world. Billy Fredrick is another great athlete out there representing us on the baseball field. Billy received a full scholarship to UCSB (University of California, Santa Barbara), who was ranked 6th in the nation in baseball, despite living with diabetes since he was a child. Billy’s story is one of perseverance, commitment and talent and I thought it would be great to share his journey in the hopes it would inspire children to never quit on their dreams. 

Hi Billy, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me. I think many kids who are diagnosed with type 1 think that this may stop them from living their dreams. I thought talking to you would be inspiring and show them that type 1 doesn’t have to stop them from anything they set out to do!

Allison, thank you for having me. I am very happy to talk about living and conquering diabetes. Life with diabetes is no easy task, but we can still accomplish great things.

I understand you were diagnosed at 11 years old with type 1 diabetes. How did you and your family handle the diagnosis?

It wasn’t easy at first. My life changed drastically. I had to begin checking my blood and taking shots of insulin. Moreover, I had to be aware of exercise intensity and carb amount in my diet. This sudden change took some time to get used to.

As the months passed, the new daily routine became habit and reflex. My family and I became more knowledgeable and confident in the process as time progressed.

Photo provided by Billy Fredrick

I have a 10-year-old myself, so I know at that age, some children do like their independence while others still enjoy their parent’s help. Were you hands-on with your diabetes management, or did your parents handle things until you were ready? 

I wasn’t super independent as a kid, so I was happy to hand over the responsibility to my parents. My mom did an incredible amount for me. She would come to school at lunch every day to check my blood and give me shots or work my pump. She would wake up around 2-3 am every morning to check my blood while I slept. She also had a big record book, where she documented all my glucose levels and food intake, in order to discover any important patterns that may help with my management. She was and still is a super mom!

At what age did you start managing your own diabetes and what was the driving factor behind when you decided to take control?

I started being fully dependent when in high school. My family and I felt that I would be able to handle it then. I was committed to it, so it went well. Commitment is an ongoing topic within the diabetes conversation; it is so necessary. I would also handle it at baseball practice as well. My daily schedule was consistent, so I was quickly able to find basal/bolus rates that worked well for me.

How were things socially for you growing up with type one diabetes? Were you vocal about it or did you not talk about it much?

At 11 years old, popularity or coolness is the most important factor at school. At first, I was worried that I might be looked down upon by my peers. However, I was very surprised at how accepted I was within my friend group, and elsewhere. They were kind and understanding towards it.

Here’s the bottom line: I was not a different person; I was still Billy, and my friends knew I was still Billy.

I tried to hide the fact in elementary school, but by the time I was in junior high, I was open to talking about it.

At what age did you start playing baseball? Were you nervous about managing your diabetes while playing? Were your coaches supportive?

I played baseball since I was five, and had developed a passion for it by the time I was diagnosed.

I was never nervous during games. I usually had plenty of time to check my blood in between innings. Baseball also doesn’t require a large amount of exercise, which allowed me to be so stable.

All my coaches were very supportive of me, and gave me the liberty to take breaks when I was low.

Photo provided by Billy Fredrick

Did you then, and do you now, wear a CGM or a pump? What do you find to be your most helpful tool in managing your diabetes during a baseball game?

I never played with a CGM. I didn’t want to wear another thing on my body during the games. I thought it may have been a hassle. Checking my blood a lot was the biggest tool in managing my level during the games. I brought some tablets to the field in my back pocket if I felt I was gonna go low in the outfield. I also brought a variety of food to the game (some high carb, some low carb), this allowed me to refine my blood sugar, and give me energy. Near the end of my college career, managing my diabetes was very easy because I was a seasoned veteran.

I use a Medtronic pump and CGM now. I like them. My control is getting better and better with it.

I understand you hit .333 during the College World Series, where you drove in a game-winning run with a bunt! You must have been stoked! How do the excitement and adrenaline affect your blood sugar during the game?

That is a great question. My blood sugar goes up pretty quickly when there’s a lot of excitement. There were many times during playoffs that year when adrenaline kicked in and spiked my blood sugar. Nervousness is another factor; it brings my blood sugar up also. A key is to remain attentive to your emotions during games.

Generally though, it tends to balance itself out with the exercise, so not much needs to be done on my part.

Did you ever experience burn out or have a difficult time managing your diabetes during baseball that made you want to stop playing? Can you tell us about that time?

I have never been burnt out during baseball. I was so committed to baseball and diabetes, that I was willing to push through any trial.

However, after I stopped playing, I did get burnt out a few times. I thought managing my levels would be easier when not an athlete, I was wrong. It was harder. My routine was less consistent (I only exercised a few times a week). This inconsistency caused my blood sugar to drop during times of exercise, and rise during times of rest. This made it difficult. As a solution, I am making exercise more commonplace. Exercise is incredibly important as a diabetic, and for normal people as well.

What are your favorite go-to snacks for lows?

Blue Gatorade or orange juice are my go-to beverages. Goldfish are also awesome!

Did you know any other people living with diabetes that inspired you to become a baseball player or in any other way?

I am sort of the black sheep of the family. I have no relatives who are diabetic.

It was fun to see baseball players like Jason Johnson and Sam Fuld play in the big leagues.

Your success story is amazing, what are your plans after college? Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years from now?

After getting my degree in Geography at UCSB, I decided to go to my community college to get another bachelor’s degree. (I didn’t really have many majors available to me because I was a busy student-athlete at UCSB.) I am currently working toward my bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering, and would enjoy designing anything from bridges to car parts for my career.

What advice would you tell a child living with type 1 diabetes who wants to play a sport but is reluctant to try due to their condition?

When your blood sugar is good, you are just like a completely normal person, capable of anything. My first recommendation is to work hard toward good blood sugar levels, because that opens the door to opportunity. Secondly, don’t be afraid to try new things.

Something that comes to mind is that no one on the other team knew I was diabetic. I seemed like a regular person to them. That is exactly how diabetics should think of ourselves. When we are committed to good blood sugar, nothing will hold us back.

Billy, thank you so much for taking the time to speak to me today. I am a huge baseball fan (and a baseball mom) so I just love your success story and know it will inspire so many children out there!

Thank you, Allison! I am glad you are a big baseball fan as well, and wish the best of luck to your son in his future baseball career!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

Charlie Kimball and His Driving Force to Success

The COVID-19 outbreak presents unique challenges for those of us living with diabetes.  Charlie Kimball, a professional IndyCar driver and father of two and lives with type 1 diabetes. His sport (and job!) is now on hold, and he is home trying to manage his diabetes, eat healthily and stay fit, all the while adjusting to life as a family of four. Charlie and his wife just had a baby in March, amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. I thought it would be nice to talk to Charlie about how he is managing despite what is going on in the world.

Charlie, congrats on your new baby! And thank you for taking the time to talk to me!

How long have you been living with type 1 diabetes?

It’s hard to believe that I’ve been living with type 1 diabetes for 17 years. At age 22, my diagnosis felt devastating and I stopped racing mid-season, unsure of how I could possibly continue to pursue a career as a professional racecar driver.

Each year on October 16, when I celebrate my “diaversary” (that is, the anniversary of my diabetes diagnosis), I reflect on the support I’ve received from the diabetes community. They, along with my wife, my healthcare team and my IndyCar family, all play a role in how I navigate and manage my diabetes.

Did your diagnosis play into your choice of becoming a professional race car driver?

Although I was actively pursuing a career as a professional racecar driver before my diagnosis, I believe racing with diabetes empowers me to be an even better driver. Physically, I have become even more in tune with my body and more connected with my team since my diagnosis. I’ve also found it really rewarding to represent people living with diabetes as part of the Novo Nordisk Race with Insulin program to reinforce the idea that diabetes doesn’t have to stop you from following your dreams.

Charlie Kimball, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet

What challenges did you face in this profession due to your type 1 diabetes?

At the time of my diagnosis, it was mid-season while I was racing in Europe and I took some time off to figure out blood sugar testing, insulin management, and how to get back on the track. Thanks to my amazing support system, I was back in a race car three months later and claimed a podium finish in my first race back.

When I decided to move back to the US and race in IndyLights (the feeder system to IndyCar), my endocrinologist, Dr. Anne Peters, met and worked with the IndyCar medical staff to create a plan to get me back behind the wheel.

With the recent news of the first person living with diabetes to be certified by the FAA for a First Class Medical, how great does it feel to know you are the first licensed driver in the history of IndyCar racing?

I first raced in go karts at nine years old and I come from a motorsports family. When I was first diagnosed, a friend helped me to put everything into perspective by pointing out that, while I’d need to manage my diabetes for the rest of my life, it was important – and possible – to get back behind the wheel. I’m really proud of my role as the first licensed driver with diabetes in the history of IndyCar racing, and I’ve never shied away from talking about living with type 1 diabetes. Now, I’m glad to see other drivers out there who are also living with diabetes on the track!

I know from my travels that there are incredible people with diabetes doing inspiring things all over the world. It never ceases to amaze me when I see people with diabetes following their dreams -– whether they are making history in their profession or they are simply accomplishing goals that they may not have considered possible, like running a half marathon

Photo credit: Charlie Kimball

When you heard the virus was picking up speed, what were your first thoughts? Fears? How did you prepare for staying at home?

We recently welcomed my son in March, so we were impacted by some of the same considerations new parents are facing during this time. But, when I held my baby boy for the first time, it was hard to think about anything else other than the love I had for my new family of four.

There have been a lot of changes over the last few weeks and while I’d love to be racing right now, this has been a good time to connect with my family, and an opportunity to plan for future races with both my healthcare and race teams.

Even though I am home, I am still committed to staying active, eating healthy and paying close attention to my blood sugar. Also, right now, a crucial part of my management plan, is making sure that I have enough medication at home and keeping track of when I need to reorder. Having a supply of insulin on hand is not a luxury. It’s a necessity, especially at this time. My partners at Novo Nordisk are working very hard to ensure patients still have access to their medicine. If anyone is having problems affording their medicine during this time, please visit NovoCare.com for information on how Novo Nordisk can help

I’m sure racing comes with a lot of stress and adrenaline. How do you recommend people handle unpredictable blood sugars due to the stress during this time?

Yes, you’re right, racing does come with a lot of stress and adrenaline. I manage that through careful planning every race weekend to ensure that my blood sugar remains in range. But everyone has their own stress and we all handle it differently. The everyday realities of work, family, and life inevitably create that, and I encourage everyone to just have a plan in place for all different situations.

As for our current situation, I’ve found that I’m handling it like everyone else, by washing my hands often and practicing social distancing. It’s been important for me to stay in constant contact with my healthcare team, so they can help me to adjust my diabetes management routine appropriately.

I keep a close eye on my continuous glucose monitoring (CGM) and that allows me to make small adjustments throughout the day if needed. I also take time to exercise, laugh with my wife and children, and connect with people who matter to me – albeit virtually these days. This all helps reduce that stress.

Charlie Kimball, A.J. Foyt Enterprises Chevrolet

How do you plan ahead for a race so that your blood sugars won’t get in the way?

I work very closely with my healthcare team on my plan for each race. We track everything from my workouts that week to my meal before I get on the track. Using this data to make a plan comes naturally to me – it’s the same way I approach driving a race car. On the track, my race engineers, strategists, and I utilize around 50-70 sensors that feed into the central brain of my car. They are calibrated so that I can monitor every detail during a race – think g-force, speed, throttle, RPM, tire pressure – and, importantly, my blood sugar levels. My blood sugar levels from my CGM are tracked and displayed on a custom screen that sits on my steering wheel and is relayed back to my team in the pit lane so that we can make adjustments as needed.

With IndyCar racing on hold, what are you doing to stay active and healthy? Both mind and body?

I’ve partnered with my team to develop a modified workout routine while I’m at home. While I’m not racing, it’s still so important for me to stay in shape so I can do my best when I’m back on the track. Beyond staying active, I’m focused on eating nutrient-rich foods, tracking my blood sugar levels, and taking my medication.

Technology has always been an important part of my diabetes management. With it, I’m able to monitor calories, carbs, hydration, and of course, my blood sugar. Lately, while I’m at home, using my CGM has been a helpful way to watch my blood sugar in real time throughout the day. For me, keeping a close eye on my numbers and taking a mindful, disciplined approach to my diabetes management has been the key to my success during this time.

I am also using this time to connect with my family as we adjust to life as a family of four. I’m especially grateful for my wife and mid-morning naps for keeping the Kimball household happy and healthy during this time!

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me, Charlie. Congrats on your success as an IndyCar driver and as well as on becoming a family of four!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

How to Avoid the Quarantine 15

As most Americans approach their second full month of quarantine (with widespread shelter-in-place orders in all but a handful of states), with playgrounds, pools, recreational centers and gyms closed, many may be wondering how they can avoid the dreaded, “quarantine 15” that people have been joking about on the internet lately.

If you’ve been consumed with stress-eating and low step counts are haunting your days, take heart: there are some simple ways to get you back on track (and fitting into jeans again soon). Here are our top tips to stay healthy during this time:

Adhere to a Regular Eating Schedule

If you have kids at home that you’re trying to homeschool, pets that need attention, and competing Zoom schedules with your spouse, nothing feels normal. It’s easy to slowly slide from your regular routine of, “quick workout, small breakfast, shower” to drinking coffee and panic reading the news ‘till noon, and then storming the kitchen once mid-afternoon hits. If you can stay on a regular eating schedule for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, by the time evening (and Netflix) time hits, you won’t be starved for calories and make poor choices.

Don’t Treat Every Day Like a Friday Night

If you’re like me, you eat remarkably healthy during the week, but definitely look forward to your Friday night glass of wine, as well as relaxed eating standards during the weekend (I can never say no to a Saturday ice cream outing). Once shelter-in-place orders hit, I started treating every day like a Friday night: wine and nachos one day, a margarita and pizza the next. This wasn’t good for my blood sugars or waistline. Even though these times are not normal, if you can carve out space for little treats only once in a while to retain some sense of normalcy, you’ll feel a lot better in the long run, and your blood sugars will also thank you.

Get Movement Every Day

Gyms may be closed, but no one has canceled nature. One silver lining of this pandemic is that it’s hitting during the most beautiful time of year. Flowers are blooming, and temperatures are mild and warm. This is the perfect time to take a bike ride, go on more jogs, or take a nightly walk after dinner. There are also plenty of online options for yoga, pilates, or cardio classes on YouTube. Take advantage of time saved from no commute, and cultivate a morning exercise routine instead!

Get Creative in the Kitchen

It might be tempting to get pizza every day or order takeout (and hello, it’s way easier!), but try and take advantage of this time at home by getting creative in the kitchen. Remember that Vitamix you got as a wedding gift that’s collecting dust in the basement? Or that juicer you ordered during a cleanse phase that you’ve never really touched? Try and buy one new vegetable a week and create a brand new recipe around that. Or order a recipe book online and work your way through it with your family. Vegetables like garlic scapes, jicama, watermelon radishes, and fiddlehead ferns are just a few delicious vegetables begging to be tried that you may have never even heard of!

Photo credit: Katee Lue (Unsplash)

Find an Outlet for Your Stress

Often times when we go to snack, we’re not *actually* hungry, but bored, tired, or stressed. Try, for a few days, to respond to hunger cues, eating only when you’re hungry and stopping when you’re full. This can be hard, because as people with diabetes, we normally eat in response to a high or low blood sugar, and not to our hunger cues, but try it out. Also, supplement your outlet for stress from eating to a healthy activity like meditation, journaling, or gentle yoga. Other outlets for stress can be listening to a podcast, painting, or dancing in your kitchen. Even if you’re not looking to lose weight, your mental health will thank you. This will also become especially helpful when treating lows; if you have an existing outlet for unwanted stress, you’re less likely to over-treat them, and can prevent the blood sugar rollercoaster.

Have you noticed weight gain since the start of COVID-19, or are you healthier than ever? How has quarantine affected your lifestyle? Share this post and comment below; we love hearing from our readers!

Source: diabetesdaily.com

1 2 3

Search

+