We tend to look forward to summertime all year – the sun, the long days, vacation from school and work. But for people with diabetes, managing sugar levels in the heat can be an undesirable challenge. This is because summer heat can increase your risk for dehydration and adversely affect your blood sugar levels. So, how can you have fun in the summer sun while not only keeping your diabetes in check but also helping manage your sugar levels even better? Read on to learn more.
Want to learn more about making it through the summer heat? Read this blog post.
1 – Take a walk
It’s always nice to stroll through the park, along the beach, or around the neighborhood. Walking is a low impact activity that allows you to get moving, check out your surroundings and enjoy the fresh air. Walk alone or with a buddy – the activity alone will help keep your blood sugar from rising.
2 – Go for a swim
Swimming is a fun activity that can be social or sporty, and helps keep you cool and refreshed in summer, so your blood sugar levels are less likely to spike. You can swim in a pool, at the lake, or in the ocean, taking breaks on shaded lounge chairs to monitor your sugar and snack as needed. Note that despite being in water, you will still need to drink regularly, to avoid dehydration.
3 – Dabble in gardening
Plant and harvest vegetables and fruits that you’ll later be able to eat, as part of your balanced diabetes diet. Gardening can be moderately laborious, but is quite relaxing and can be done from the comfort of your home garden, or even a set of dedicated pots. Choose non-starchy vegetables and fruits with a low glycemic index, to set yourself up for diabetes diet success.
4 – Take part in an indoor/online class
When it’s a heat wave outside, it’s best to keep yourself busy and active inside, with a class, workshop, sport or activity that piques your interest. Pottery, yoga, creative writing, tai chi, and ballet can all keep you moving (parts of you, at least), while the air conditioning keeps you cool and protected from the sun’s harsh rays and keeps you safe and healthy inside! Great for getting in your daily exercise and/or stimulation allotment, key in keeping your sugar levels in check.
5 – Learn to cook
Learning to cook is invaluable for everyone, but it is even more important for people with diabetes. Discover how you can prepare foods that help balance your glucose levels, keep you feeling full, and satisfy your cravings for sweet treats, while keeping you and your health safe.
Tips for managing your sugar levels in summer
- Be sure to hydrate – Take a water bottle with you wherever you go, drink and refill it often. The hotter it is outside, the more you should drink.
- Stay sun safe – When outdoors, be sure to apply sunscreen, wear proper clothing and a hat, and try and stick to shaded areas, as much as possible.
- Monitor your sugar regularly – And pack snacks to keep your levels balanced throughout the day.
- Know your limits – It can be tempting to go the extra mile, but this can be dangerous for diabetics, especially in the summer heat. Pause to rest when you need it; recharge and then resume your activity.
Enjoy this summer free, happy and healthy.
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