Running is one of the easiest forms of fitness, but that doesn’t mean you’re doing it right. Poor technique, misinformation and bad preparation are common, and can lead to long-term injury, especially in people with Type 2 Diabetes.
To provide an effective framework for runners with the condition, the medical team at Online Clinic has gathered advice on how to safely manage the condition, without sacrificing your fitness. Here are the top 6 tips for runners with diabetes:
Maintain Contact With Your Doctor
If you have diabetes, talk with your doctor before making lifestyle changes that involve your health, and mention that you’re a runner. As you become more active, you may need to adjust your prescription so that your body keeps up with your fitness. According to Online Clinic medical adviser Dr. Hilary Jones, “Managing Type 2 diabetes is extremely important, and a large part of this is following the right course of treatment.”
Avoid ‘Energy Boosting’ Foods and Drinks
Energy boosting supplements may contain carbohydrates that prevent hypoglycemia, but consuming too much will reverse the caloric burn you get from running. If you need to get that energy before a long-distance run, get it from natural food sources.
If you use insulin and see rising and falling blood sugar levels during your workout, change your diet and exercise regimes accordingly. Consider everything about your running strategy; it may be as simple as changing your route.
Don’t Overthink It!
Some people with diabetes are afraid that running could have a negative effect on their blood sugar, but fret not. If you control your diabetes carefully, eat well, and exercise in moderation, then you shouldn’t have an increased risk of hypoglycemia.
Plan Your Schedule
After a good run, insulin sensitivity lasts for about 24 to 72 hours. When it comes to scheduling, it’s important to time your meals alongside your exercise. For example, if you’re used to a blood sugar spike after a meal, consider taking an evening jog to balance out the spike. As an added bonus, this will help you avoid exercise-related low-blood sugar.
Maintain Realistic Goals
Just as weight gain is not immediate, weight loss isn’t either. If you’re overweight, it’s important to exercise regularly to improve your health. Set goals for yourself, but be willing to adjust them if your doctor has other suggestions.