Exercising with a Little Help from My (Diabetes) Friends

Healthy Living

Exercising with a Little Help from My (Diabetes) Friends

Kathryn GentileContributor: Kathryn Gentile, ACSM-CEP, EIM level II, CPT, CSN, DCES

Support from others is essential for our well-being, and it can be beneficial in maintaining an exercise regimen or increasing our physical activity. When a friend relies on you to show up, you're much more likely to follow through. Exercising while spending time with your friend can make it more enjoyable. Plus, when exercising with diabetes, it's a good idea to have a partner to help out in a low blood glucose situation.

If you want to start increasing your physical activity but aren't sure how to, consider working with a trainer who lives with diabetes or has extensive knowledge of it. Look for a local ACSM certified trainer or consider working with a trainer remotely. You'll have someone who can help with blood sugar management during physical activity, which can be complicated if you take insulin or some oral medications like sulfonylureas. Group classes are also a great option and an excellent way to meet others looking to stay motivated. They are offered at nearly every gym, and there are endless online options.

I love working out with diabuddies (other people with diabetes). It's great to be around others who understand and make adjustments pre/during/post-exercise. I'm part of several groups on Facebook and Instagram that help me stay motivated and connected. Pre-COVID, our local groups often met up to go to a gym or bike ride together. If you're looking for a group, a Facebook search is a great place to start. I also invite you to join my group: Out Muscle Diabetes.

Kathryn Gentile, ACSM-CEP, EIM level II, CPT, CSN, DCES is an ACSM Certified Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Personal Trainer, Sports Nutritionist Coach, and holds a level two Exercise is Medicine credential. She received her Bachelor of Science from Ave Maria University and is currently a Masters student studying Clinical Exercise Physiology at West Chester University of PA. Kathryn works at Integrated Diabetes Services as an Exercise Physiologist and provides one-on-one guidance for patients looking for individualized exercise plans. Connect with Kathryn on Instagram at @kathryngentile, and follow Integrated Diabetes on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.