In the old days, kids with diabetes were considered invalids; however, that is no longer the case. With good treatment and good planning, kids who have diabetes can live active, full lives. In this article, we will share some excellent tips about exercise for kids who have diabetes. Read on to learn more.
It is important for kids who have diabetes to correctly balance the amount of activity planned and the amount of fuel (carbohydrates) available. By eating properly in advance of an activity and having proper snacks and supplies on hand, kids with diabetes can sail through just about any athletic event or other physical activity.
It is a good idea for a child with diabetes to carry a little extra money to purchase emergency snacks if needed during events such as skating or swimming. Additionally, keeping an insulated lunch kit on hand with snacks and healthy beverages is an excellent idea.
Keep close tabs on insulin levels before during and after athletic activity until you get a good idea of what these levels will normally be during a sporting activity. Understand that exercising heats up the muscles, which means they will absorb a greater amount of sugar. Furthermore, insulin delivery is more efficient during exercise. For this reason, a child may need little or no extra insulin during exercise.
Attaining good muscle tone may mean an overall need for insulin intake. Muscles that are toned will help stabilize blood sugar levels overall, so exercise is a very positive addition to any life, but it is especially positive for kids with diabetes. It helps keep the condition under control and adds value and richness to a child’s life.
Understand that the glucose level that is ideal for resting is different than the glucose level that is ideal for exercise. It is a good idea to test glucose prior to exercise. If the glucose level is normal at that time, the child should eat a little snack before exercising to boost glucose levels for optimum performance and enjoyment.
Just as with anyone else, kids with diabetes should stay well-hydrated during sports. Becoming overheated can cause blood sugar levels to drop rapidly, so it is very important to have plenty of pure, filtered water on hand for proper cooling off and hydration. A spray bottle of water to help cool off is also a good idea.
There are also things that can affect blood sugar and insulin levels that you might never think of. For example, excitement and the adrenaline that comes with it can lower blood sugar levels. Additionally, following up a tough game or workout with a soak in a hot tub or a long hot shower can increase insulin absorption. For this reason, it is a good idea to wait until the game or activity is over and the child is fully cooled down and relaxed to administer insulin.
Proper monitoring and adjustment of insulin levels combined with smart snacking and proper hydration can open up the world of active sports and exercise for kids with diabetes. Follow the tips presented here to help your child enjoy a full, rich and happy childhood with diabetes.