Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to condemn yourself to a sedentary lifestyle and watch your health deteriorate. Around the world, ordinary people have managed to handle being diabetic while remaining athletic – here’s some life lessons from those who have been there, done that.
Bring your insulin pump with you to the gym
It’s inevitable that your blood sugar level drops in the middle of your workout. Accept that this is going to happen every time, but don’t give up and deactivate your gym membership just yet. Diabetic fitness enthusiasts have found a way to train around their condition by packing their pump with them while they’re working out so that it’s easily accessible. The trick is to pick exercise shorts that come with wide enough pockets to slot your insulin pump in. Others recommend wearing it on an armband or taping it to the front of the sports bra (for women). Once set, you’ll be good to go!
Reward yourself for small victories
Making it through every single workout of your training regimen is by no means an easy feat, so give yourself the reward you deserve with every success. Living with diabetes isn’t easy and it can get pretty depressing at times, but with proper managing of your condition, you can build up a wide collection of proud moments to look back on.
Find a community
The one thing that many diabetic athletes have in common is that they find a source of strength in their communities. Keeping fit is a tough journey by itself. Throw diabetes into the mix and you've got one heck of a challenge! Support from a community of fellow diabetics who understand the difficulties you face can be cathartic, giving you strength to keep on going when the days feel particularly rough.
Chronic conditions like diabetes don’t have to change your lifestyle completely. You can still do the activities you love (even exercise) as long as you weave it into your lifestyle with some caution and a lot of motivation, from both yourself and a community of like-minded individuals. It won’t be easy, but that feeling of conquering your demons on a daily basis makes it all worthwhile!