How many times have you been told to exercise more, to eat a little healthier, or to sleep a little longer? And how many times have you actually gotten out there and done it? Probably not as often as you’d like. We know that all of these things are important for your health, so what’s stopping us from getting it done? There are lots of resources out there to help get us active as someone with diabetes – you can create a plan with your healthcare team, search for the answers online, read some books, or join a gym. Many of us start to make progress towards our active living goals, but over time end up re-adopting our old habits - readings forgotten and gym membership lapsing.
Getting active can be HARD, but why? And more importantly, what can we do to make it easier? Well, that’s something that the team at Connected in Motion has thought a lot about, and we have a few ideas.
Since 2008, Connected in Motion (CIM) has been developing an experiential health education model to help adults with diabetes get more active. As an organization, we realized early on that in order to create lasting change – for individuals to actually integrate activity into their everyday lives– there needs to be a change in the way we educate about healthy living and activity. Over the years, we’ve talked to people, we’ve tried things out, and we’ve learned a few things:
- We all learn best by doing. By taking the lessons we’ve learned about active living (be it from the doctors we visit, the magazines we read, or the friends we share stories with) and practicing them, we can learn what works for us and adopt these lessons into our lifestyles in ways that work for us.
- Community is Key. Individuals are far more likely to work towards pursuing their goals and ‘stick to it’ if they are supported by a community who has been there, done that––a community who gets it.
These lessons have formed what we call the Slipstream Model. You’ve probably seen it before: a group of cyclists tucking in behind the leader of the pack, or a gaggle of geese flying in ‘V’ formation. It’s physics, really – creating a path of least resistance for the group but taking turns in the lead. It’s the idea that together we can travel further, move faster, and be stronger than we can on our own. With the support of our peers, we can take the lessons that we have learned about being healthy, active living and integrate those lessons into our everyday lives. We can learn to embrace being active through trial and error, without fear of failure, because we know the group is behind us and with us all the way.
Enter Beyond Type 1. Leveraging the power of social media and technology, Beyond Type 1 is changing what it means to live with a chronic disease. The mission is summed up in 3 words: Educate. Advocate. Cure. Beyond Type 1 has grown in 3 short years to the largest online community of any diabetes organization. And while social media and the diabetes online community is an amazing place for everyday connection and empowerment, Beyond Type 1 knows the power of in-person events and experiences. Beyond Type 1 is so excited to extend the opportunity provided by Connected In Motion’s Slipstreams model to folks who have only ever connected online in the past.
In 2018, Connected in Motion and Beyond Type 1 are coming together to offer 3 Slipstream Programs in Maine, California, and Ontario. Think of these as weekend retreats – summer camp for adults - a conference without the conference rooms.
Whether you’re looking for a chance to get out of the city and relax by the lake or fully embrace camp as an adult and dive into a waterfront obstacle course or rip a lap on a mountain bike, either way, we can promise you’ll be surrounded by people who get it. You’ll have the chance to get active in ways you’d perhaps never considered (we’ve got hiking, biking, and waterskiing as options, to name a few); learn from experts about a wide range of topics (including mental health, technology, and diabetes and exercise streams); and hang out with some of the coolest kids on the block (at camp, we’re allowed to call ourselves kids no matter what our age – and by having diabetes, you’re automatically cool.)
This month, we’re reaching out far and wide to like-minded groups like DiabetesSisters to invite you all to join us, share your experiences, and connect with the community and help make life with diabetes just a little bit easier.
Connected in Motion and Beyond Type 1 will be holding their next Slipstream Event on June 8-10 at Camp Caribou in Winslow, Maine. Find more information here: 2018 Northeastern Slipstream
Jen’s early beginnings as a campfire-loving, bug-catching, mud-puddle-jumping, tree-climbing tot sparked in her a love for adventure that has been fostered and grown into a full-blown passion for everything outdoors. She has been living with diabetes almost her whole life, and when you can pin her down, operates out of Toronto, Ontario. Jen is a Registered Kinesiologist, a Certified Teacher, Adventure Guide, specializing in Outdoor and Experiential Diabetes Education, and a Certified Diabetes Educator. She is the Executive Director of Connected in Motion, and volunteers her time working as an Elementary Coordinator with Children with Diabetes. Jen is a member of the Beyond Type 1 Global Ambassador Council.
Dana was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2002 at the age of 8. As the Communications Manager at Beyond Type 1, Dana strives to use social and digital media to amplify the voices of the diabetes community and build community around living well with Type 1. Dana studied Biology and Community Health as an undergraduate and went on to complete an MS in Health Communication from Tufts University. In the past, Dana has worked as a communications specialist with major hospitals as well as small nonprofits on topics ranging from cancer to pediatric device innovation. When she’s not favoriting your tweets, you can find her skiing, biking or drinking coffee.