Getting Exercised About Winter

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Keeping active in the wintertime, especially here in the Boston area,
can be a real challenge. I mean, you can’t just go for a walk when the streets
and sidewalks are covered with ice and snow.

So, what can you do? We took a quick survey of the exercise physiologists in the clinic here at the Joslin Diabetes Center, and we’ve compiled a list of
activities to explore, with the winter months in mind.

Ideas for Indoor Exercise

  • Join a mall-walking group, or buddy up with friends to walk outside
    or at an indoor track.
  • Join Team Joslin and sign up for a walk or road race in the spring in support of Joslin’s High Hopes Fund. When you’re committed to something, bailing out is not an option, and now’s the time to start training.
  • Swim at an indoor pool.
  • Join a fitness club that offers aerobics classes plus cardiovascular
    and strength-training equipment.
  • Exercise at home. Some examples: take the stairs; clean the house;
    walk in place; lift soup cans; or do push-ups, crunches, calf raises or
    exercise videos.

Outdoor Physical Activity Is Still an Option

Take up a winter sport:

  • Skiing
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowshoeing
  • Skating

Do an everyday activity:

  • Shovel the sidewalk
  • Take a brisk walk
  • Embrace your inner child! Build a snowman or slide down a hill!

Remember, if you’re going outdoors, don’t skimp on layers. Circulation problems
are a complication of diabetes, so make sure that your body is well insulated -
especially when you plan to be outdoors for a while.

Heed your feet, too. Make sure to wear good, supportive boots that
resist moister out and wool socks to wick sweat from your feet.

And don’t forget to warm your body up! Before engaging in vigorous activity,
warm up indoors for five to 10 minutes. It should leave you feeling comfortably
warm-not hot or sweaty.

When checking your blood-glucose levels, keep the following in mind:

  • Meters are temperature-sensitive; the accuracy may be affected when
    it is too cold or too hot. Most meters work best within the range of 50 to 104
    degree Fahrenheit.
  • In cold weather, carry your meter and strips inside your clothing so
    your body heat can keep them in the correct temperature range.
  • When it is too cold, find a warmer place to check your blood-glucose
    level.
  • While meters allow you to obtain a drop of blood from other parts of
    your body, your best bet is to get it from your finger.
  • If you have questions, call your meter company’s toll-free
    customer-service number.

Get outdoors and enjoy all the winter season has to offer. Just remember
to check beforehand with your physician regarding your fitness plan, to get the
most from your workout while maintaining control over your diabetes.

One Response to Getting Exercised About Winter

  1. Larry Ligon says:

    Thanks, great suggestions and reminders regarding both winter exercise and glucose testing!

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