Tag Archives: exercise

Join the Champion Athletes of 2017.

I was going to start this off by talking about Spring coming up in the USA. But hey, this is the World Wide Web anyway, so I need to fully recognize (recognise?) that Autumn is also on the way.

Regardless, it’s a great time to consider that athletic event you’ve been working toward, or accomplished. Maybe you’ve been committed to a better fitness routine for a while now. Feeling like a Champion? That’s where I’m going with this. Here’s my reminder:

If you, or someone you love, is living with diabetes and working toward or accomplishing an athletic goal, I have a brand spanking new medal for you.

We’ve given over 80 of these away over the past 3+ years, to people in places as close to me as Virginia and Pennsylvania, and places as far away as New Zealand and India.

I am always so happy to read about someone overcoming their fears, gaining confidence, and giving the extra effort to reach that achievement they’ve been working toward. Whether it’s your first run, a milestone bike ride, or literally a mountain you’ve always wanted to climb, your effort should be rewarded.

Here, briefly, are the rules:

1. The athlete receiving the award must be living with diabetes.

2. The athletic event must have taken place in the last six months. For now, we’re going with a pretty loose interpretation of the word “event”. We have medal winners who are runners, ballroom dancers, swimmers, motocross riders, and curlers. If you feel you’ve accomplished something important to you, that’s an event.

3. Send me an e-mail at champswithdiabetes@gmail.com. Tell me your name, name of the athlete (it’s okay if it’s you), and your address (gotta know where to send the medal). Most important, tell me what athletic goal was accomplished, and when. Extra points if you tell me how you felt accomplishing the goal. Full disclosure: I reserve the right to use your testimonial here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. I will not use your name if you don’t want me to. As always, I will never share private information.

4. When you receive your medal, it would be great if you post a photo of it around the athlete’s neck. You can send a Tweet to @ChampsWithD (hashtag: #champdathletes) or post it on the Champion Athletes With Diabetes Facebook Page.

If you meet the above criteria, you qualify for a medal.

So… as you consider signing up for that event this year… as you consider getting those 10,000 steps in every day, or hopping on the bike in the evening, think about what it means. Think about how your efforts are making a difference for you and your loved ones. Consider how great it feels to get a hard won victory over diabetes.

Then go out and make history. Be a Champion Athlete With Diabetes.

Your medal is waiting.

How are you feeling?

So… How are you feeling?

Hopefully, you haven’t had to go through the awful cold bug that’s been going around the USA. I got to experience that around Christmas and New Year’s. Lots of gunk in my chest, off and on nausea, and it took a little over two weeks to feel right again.

Now that I’m on the mend, I’m back to getting active. Mostly, that means time on my spin bike upstairs. I’ve been trying to get into better shape by simply electing to do more than I was doing the previous three months or so, and be more consistent about it. No big predictions about what I’ll look like in six months, no lofty goals about competing in the Iron Man triathlon in Hawaii (although, in reality, I’ve never dreamed that high).
Workout Room with Large Mirrors
Right now, it’s all about doing what I can do to feel better. Looking better will hopefully come later. Oh, there are athletic events on my radar… there always are. But at this point, I just want to be able to string together a few months of regular workouts without getting sick or having something else happen that will give me an easy excuse to give up.

My record-setting days are probably behind me now. Heck, even my personal record-setting days are probably behind me now. But I’m not dead yet. Far from it. Now I’m concentrating on feeling good, being healthier, and when I do participate in an athletic event, having fun. There ain’t nothing wrong with that. Especially if I’m able to make more efficient use of the insulin that squeezes from the pump attached to my waist each day.

Meanwhile, I’m making extra-sure that I cough into my elbow, dress in layers this time of year, and use plenty of hand sanitizer (but not before I perform a BG check).

What about you? How are you feeling? Have any personal goals this year, athletic or otherwise? Let’s talk.
 
 
 

Making the most of your holiday season.

This is not advice… but if you’re interested in my opinion, here are the three things I feel I need to be able to navigate the holidays with diabetes as part of my life:

Holidays

Get plenty of rest. I’m not someone who needs a lot of sleep. Usually, about five or six hours and I’m good to go for the next day. Only the holidays, with their mix of special events, crazy hours (New Year’s Eve, weeknight parties), and lots of delicious food and drink that isn’t consumed at any other time of year, make getting enough rest a priority for me. If I’m properly rested, especially if I get seven or eight hours of sleep, I’m ready to go when The Great Spousal Unit calls me at work and says “Let’s drive around and look at Christmas lights tonight”. I don’t want to miss out on the holiday fun because I didn’t get enough shuteye the night before.

Get as much exercise as possible. With all of the things mentioned above, it’s no wonder our exercise routines get thrown out of whack for the month of December. I get that. I’m the same way. What I have noticed, however, especially in the past few years, is that the more exercise I can get in, the better I feel, no matter what I’m up to. Like diabetes, the holidays are a marathon, not a sprint. Speaking from experience, let me tell you… when you stress your body every day due to lack of sleep and eating and drinking too much, by the time you reach mid-December, you’re soooo ready for the holidays to be over. Any exercise you can squeeze in this month can help mitigate that feeling, partly because you’ll burn off some of those calories you’re consuming, and partly due to the endorphins that are released during exercise.

That said…

Enjoy the holidays as much as you can with the ones you love and care about. Even if you can’t get as much rest as you’d like or you aren’t able to exercise, let’s remember: We only have so many special people in our lives, and we only have so many holiday seasons in our lives. Don’t be afraid to be spontaneous and do things you don’t normally do. Remember to spend time with the people who want to be with you, and tell them how glad you are that they are a part of your life. Find the joy and happiness that this season is supposed to be about. It’s okay to be a walking Hallmark card. Finding your happiness is even supposed to be good for your diabetes. So… if you celebrate with loved ones this December, you’re kinda doing something that will pay dividends down the road.

Okay, maybe I’m reaching a bit on that last point. But as someone who’s missed out on a lot because I was too bummed out or jaded or whatever to participate, I can tell you that happiness is everything it’s cracked up to be. And you deserve to be happy.

I’ll be moderating Wednesday night’s DSMA Twitter chat beginning at 9:00 eastern time here in the USA. With the beginning of Hanukkah Tuesday night, and Christmas just a week away, and New Year’s a week after that, I suspect we’ll be talking a bit about the holidays and diabetes. Follow @DiabetesSocMed and the #DSMA hashtag to join the conversation.

And while I’m at it, Thank You for reading and being such an important part of my life this year. Happy Holidays!
 
 
 

One year later.

Champion-Athletes-With-Diabetes-Medal

One year ago, I used the beginning of Diabetes Awareness Month to springboard the start of our Champion Athletes With Diabetes initiative. Yes, it’s my blog, but I think of this as our initiative, in the sense that a) I had this idea, and b) The Great Spousal Unit has enthusiatically supported it, and c) Countless people and places on the internet have been very supportive too. We’re all to blame, and we’re all to be congratulated (but you guys, more than me… really).

As I’ve mentioned before, I got the idea for this whole thing after I saw a video from Kerri Sparling. I started to look at what it would actually cost to have medals made, make certificates (even The Tin Man received a testimonial!), and send a personal note to each athlete who would write for a medal. The cost seemed reasonable, and in retrospect, the monetary cost plus the cost in time and effort has been miniscule compared to the warmth and kindness I’ve received from our Champion Athletes With Diabetes. And it’s even more miniscule compared to the happiness and pride I’ve felt for my fellow brothers and sisters with broken pancreases each time they achieve athletic goals that seemed nearly impossible when they began.

To date, we’ve delivered fifteen medals to Champion Athletes With Diabetes.

We’ve sent medals to 40 and 50-plus year veterans of living with diabetes. We sent one to a race car driver. We sent one to Scott Johnson and Mike Hoskins. We sent a medal to Mary Beth Wyss, a T1D with two adult children… and we sent one to Kelley Kent, a T1D who will become a Mom for the first time any day now (that’s worthy of its own medal, both before and after the baby is grown). Sprinkled in there are medals for kids and serious runners (hello Cecilia and Corey). And I can’t forget about the amazing Merle Gleeson and the inspirational Bob Parant.

If there’s one thing I hear more than anything else when I talk to people about earning a medal, it’s the notion that they are not a good enough athlete, or they haven’t done enough to earn a medal (yet). This medal is not about achieving a certain level of greatness. It’s about what goes into getting there: The hours of training, the high and (mostly) low blood sugars, the frustrations, and more than anything, the perseverance that is an important and necessary part of any athlete’s equipment.

I’ve been inspired and humbled by what these special athletes have achieved, even before they ever ran a race, or biked in a charity event, or signed up to play volleyball or soccer. I am so grateful you’ve let me share your remarkable stories.

Among the fifteen medals we’ve given away, there are two stories still waiting to be told. So look for more athletes before the end of this month. In the meantime…
 
 
If you are living with diabetes, and you’re active; or if someone close to you is living with D and is active, we would love to send a medal recognizing the athlete’s achievement.

There are only four simple things to do to get yours:

1. The athlete receiving the award must be living with diabetes.

2.
The athletic event must have taken place in the last six months. For now, we’re going with a pretty loose interpretation of the word “event”. If you feel you’ve accomplished something important to you, that’s an event. ‘Nuf said.

3. Send me an e-mail at champswithdiabetes@gmail.com. Tell me your name, name of the athlete (it’s okay if it’s you), and your address (gotta know where to send the medal). Most important, tell me what athletic goal was accomplished, and when. Extra points if you tell me how you felt accomplishing the goal. Full disclosure: I reserve the right to use your testimonial here, on Twitter, and on Facebook. I will not use your name if you don’t want me to. As always, I will never share private information.

4. When you receive your medal, it would be great if you post a photo of it around the athlete’s neck. You can send a Tweet to @ChampsWithD (hashtag: #champdathletes) or post it on the Champion Athletes With Diabetes Facebook Page.

I think D-Athletes are amazing. It takes a tremendous amount of planning, effort, and bravery to compete, or maintain an exercise routine. Heck, sometimes, it’s everything we can do just to walk around the block. Getting out of your comfort zone and taking that brave step is something that should be recognized and rewarded.

If it’s a big deal to you, it’s a big deal to me too. I want to support you, or support the Athlete With Diabetes in your life. Send an e-mail for your award today.
 
 
Happy Anniversary Athletes!
 
 
 

It’s Big Blue Test Time!

Big-Blue-Test
 
 
Today marks the start of one of my favorite parts of the year. It’s Big Blue Test time!

For the next month, every Big Blue Test that is logged will result in a $1.00 (US) donation to non-profit diabetes groups that are working tirelessly to provide education, support, and supplies to people who need them.

Here’s how it works:

1. Test your blood glucose. If you do not have diabetes, you can skip this step.

2. Get active. For 14 to 20 minutes, get up and get moving. You can , walk, run, clean the house, swim, tap dance…whatever!

3. Test again. On average, Big Blue Testers seen their blood glucose level drop 20% after 14-20 minutes of exercise.

4. Share your results. (Answer the questions in the right column of the page at bigbluetest.org). And don’t forget to talk about your experience on social media.

Hashtag-Big-Blue-Test

Tell everyone you know, whether they’re living with diabetes or not. Log those moments of activity throughout your day.
Share this with everyone you know (use the hashtag #bigbluetest).

Have you been looking for a way to help move the needle toward better outcomes for People With Diabetes, but you’re not sure how? This is how.

I’ve already logged my first one! I took the long way walking from the train station to work, and my BG dropped 53 points. I’m going to try to do this every working day (twice per day, of course) for the next month. I’ll bet there’s something similar you can do where you live and work.

Sometimes, diabetes advocacy is both fun and easy. Go to bigbluetest.org to find out more.

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