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Don’t let the heat keep you indoors this summer, by taking a few precautions you can still participate in outdoor activities and enjoy all types of weather when managing diabetes. You’ll need to be able to test your blood sugar levels, so take your supplies with you and protect them from the heat.
Follow these tips to enjoy the outdoors this summer.
1. Drink plenty of water
Staying hydrated is especially important during physical activity. Carry small bottles of water or low-calorie electrolyte-replenishing sports drinks in a backpack or with you if hiking or playing sports.
2. Adjust your insulin as needed
Ask your doctor, diabetes educator or medical practitioner how you should adjust your insulin (or eat extra carbohydrates) before exercising. In the warmer months, your blood sugar levels may fluctuate more readily, therefore dosages may need to be adjusted.
3. Test your blood sugar levels frequently
As mentioned, heat can cause blood sugar levels to fluctuate, therefore it is important to test levels regularly throughout the day. This will allow you to take immediate action to keep your levels stable and avoid a sudden rise or fall in levels. You should also continue frequent monitoring hours after exercising.
4. Bring snacks with you
Some snacks can serve as a meal replacement while others can help prevent low blood sugar by giving you a spike in energy. Discuss possible options for snacks for a day out with your doctor or dietician to ensure you are appropriately prepared for any sudden decrease in blood sugar levels.
5. Protect your medication and supplies
Protect your insulin, glucagon kit, and other supplies before you head outdoors. Depending on the activity and how long you will be outdoors for, you might need to monitor your glucose more often. Consider using a long-acting insulin cooling pouch or wallet, or a car cooler that plugs into your car to keep your insulin cool and stable.
6. Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, and light-colored clothing
This will help to keep your overall body temperature cool, and allows your body to breathe and sweat more easily. If inside, use an air conditioner or go into an airconditioned building to stay cool if the temperature is extreme outside.
7. Wear sunscreen and a hat when outside
Sunburn can change your blood sugar levels and adds stress to the body. Use protective eye gear and clothing as well as a broad-spectrum sunscreen for overall protection.
Take advantage of being outdoors in the warmer summer months. However, it is recommended to stay inside during extreme weather conditions. By taking a few precautions and planning ahead you should still be able to enjoy your regular activities these summer months.
Glucology Store was born in Sydney Australia. Our mission is to help improve the lives of people living with diabetes by providing the best possible support products and information.
Remember to always seek advice from your medical practitioner before changing anything about your diabetes management. The above information is not medical advice.