A Summer Hike And Cookies Too
Summer is an invitation to exercise. Every marathon starts with a walk around the block. Some of us don’t get to actually run the marathon, but we become athletes in our hearts, no matter what. Sports, exercise, and athletics make us feel good about ourselves. They give a sense of well being, accomplishment, a twinkle in the eye, healthy skin, buoyancy, strength, muscle tone, a strong heart, weight stabilization, and good blood sugars.
Exercise is a terrific part of the care before the cure. And even when that seemingly mythical day peaks, over the horizon, don’t stop exercising. If you are a beginner, use caution to awaken your stiff and sleeping body. Start slowly. Build gradually. Increase in time. Increase in power. Find the exercise/sports that are best for you. Exercise should be fun. Walk, dance, run, swim. Go bowling. Play tennis, baseball, paddleball, ping pong, football or soccer. Stretch to some jazzy music. Jog with a friend. Ride a bike, try martial arts, yoga, pilates, rollerblade, Work out at the local gym or YMCA. The list goes on and on. Find your game and play it with passionate gusto and bursts of laughter.
At the Diabetes Mall bookstore, there are some great books on diabetes diet and sports. Put them in your shopping cart and browse through them on rainy afternoons. Guarantee you’ll learn and be inspired. There are a few basic rules you should follow with exercise and diabetes. Even the most experienced diabetic athlete needs a refresher course in these once in a while. Check your blood sugar before and after exercise (if you are doing endurance sports, clip your meter on your belt, in a fanny pack or in a pocket to test at least every hour).
Keep hydrated. Drink water, water, and more water, the nectar of Nike. Water feeds the muscles you are using to make them work more efficiently. Water acts as a tonic lubricating and cleansing the system. Water is refreshing and tastes good. If you are carrying a bottle with you on a hike or run, squeeze a wedge of fresh lemon or lime into it for added refreshment and thirst-quenching jump.
Always carry a snack. This doesn’t mean sometimes, or if you remember, or if you think of it as you walk out the door. It means always. Take a minute to run a mental checklist. Keys, water, ID, $$, meter, and food. If you practice the checklist for a few weeks, it becomes a habit. And we diabetics live a life of forming habits to stay healthy. So, what’s one more.
Sure you can grab a Power Bar or a few packs of Sweet Tarts or glucose tablets (and you should for extended time endurance sports), but at Cyber Kitchen, we love to make our own snacks for the road. Recently, I was part of a Diabetes and Exercise Conference in New York City at which LifeScan launched its new “Steps to Control” program which encourages and promotes exercise as a tool for good diabetes management.
All attendees were given a small pedometer (and instruction booklet for the “Steps to Control” program) as they exited the conference. The goal is to achieve 10,000 steps (5 miles) a day for fitness. Everyone from seasoned athletes, beginner athletes to nonathletes, type 1’s and type 2’s loved the concept of clipping this simple device on a belt buckle and at the end of the day knowing how many miles and steps you walked. Nothing like a little competition with yourself to get you into the game.
For the conference, I baked batches and batches of cookies I used to sell to a local health food store. The original recipe is loaded with almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, pignoli nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seed, coconut, and pumpkin seeds. We won’t talk about the calories and fat involved. I have scaled the concentration of nuts down a bit, but it remains a great treat to carry along to any sport this summer. Come on over to Cyber Kitchen for a baking lesson on these simple delicious cookies and a few others to get you ready to take a Summer hike.