If you are concerned about how you can safely go swimming with diabetes, you need to keep reading this article.
Swimming, whether in the sea or in the pool, is one of the most complete exercises you can do to stay in shape. This is due to the fact that, to swim, many muscles from different parts of the body must be used, such as the ones in the back, the extremities or the abdomen. If I have convinced you to go swimming with diabetes, you can’t miss this article, because it explains how to do it safely.
Swimming with diabetes? Yes, you can!
Swimming is an aerobic exercise, so it is especially recommended for people with diabetes, as it is low to medium intensity and long lasting. Proof of this is 10-time Olympic medalist Gary Hall, who was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was 24 years old. For Hall, diabetes slowed down his career, but it wasn’t a permanent stop. After a few months out of training, he returned to the water, and successfully qualified for the 2000 Sydney Olympics, where he won his first individual gold medal.
It is important to remember that diabetes does not prevent you from doing any kind of sport, it is just the opposite! Exercising with diabetes has a lot of benefits such as preventing cardiovascular disease, strengthening muscles or improving insulin resistance and insulin production. Also, if you need to lose weight, swimming will also be good for you. This is because underwater, the sensation of weight is reduced, so it will be less difficult to move and the number of calories burned will be higher.
However, although swimming is an ideal exercise, since it is a sport in which the energy output is high, blood glucose levels can be altered. It is advisable to always keep them under control with assistants such as Cori, which will help you to better understand how your body reacts and to control your diabetes.
Tips for swimming with diabetes
If swimming is your choice for staying fit with diabetes, here are a few tips that will be helpful when you start training:
Always check your glucose levels before and after swimming with diabetes
To avoid extreme variations in your blood glucose levels, it is advisable that you measure yourself before entering the pool to know if you are in the correct levels to do sport and that you repeat it also when you leave. This last will tell you how exercise affects your blood sugar.
Take short breaks
If you are going to train for a long time in a row because you have a competition nearby, it is advisable that, more or less every hour, you get out of the pool to measure your levels. This way you will make sure that you are still in the correct levels and, in case you are too high or too low, you can correct it.
If in doubt, consult your doctor
The specialist is the one who knows your diabetes best. Keeping him/her aware that you are going to start the adventure of doing sports will be a key point so that together you can prepare an adequate diet and so that your medication is the right one for the physical effort you are going to do.
Inform your coach
Let your coach know that you have diabetes and explain how he/she should act in case of an emergency. This will allow you to train safely and stop as often as necessary.
Although it may not seem like it because you are in the water, while swimming you burn calories and therefore lose body fluid, so it is important that you try to stay hydrated during your workouts.
What do I do to keep my sensor from coming off?
If you are worried about the sensor coming off, don’t worry, you have different options and there is sure to be one that suits your needs and preferences.
- Consult the manufacturer’s conditions: This is definitely the first step. Each sensor can be submerged for a different period of time, depending on the manufacturer. Check before jumping into the pool.
- Fixers: If you are going to swim continuously, there are fixing products on the market, which can be liquid or spray, which are applied before placing the sensor, and improve its adhesion.
- External sprays: This option is similar to the previous one, however, the sprays are sprayed after placing the sensor and create a layer that protects the skin around it.
- Adhesive tapes: If you want something more consistent, you can opt for adhesive tapes. You have all kinds: hypoallergenic adhesive tape, dressings, adhesive bandages… you name it!
- A combination of the above ones: If you’re going to be swimming continuously and want extra security, try putting the options together! It might work for you to use binders and tape or spray and binders.