Age: 29 Year Diagnosed: 2012 Location: Sydney, AUS
“‘Exercise is Dangerous for People With Type 1 Diabetes’ This has to be the most gear-grinding myth of all. People with type 1 diabetes are often afraid of exercise because they aren’t on an appropriate insulin therapy protocol. If you are on the correct amount of insulin for your activity levels, not only is exercise perfectly safe - it is vital for optimal health! As someone thriving with type 1 diabetes, exercise is my fundamental management strategy to control my insulin and blood sugar levels. I like to say: “Exercise is a form of medicine that we can freely and happily administer to ourselves” My philosophy is: “In order to thrive with diabetes, I need to take 2 types of medicine daily: Insulin and exercise - with exercise being at the core”. In other words, my daily dose of insulin is dependent upon my daily dose of exercise - NOT the other way around. So on days when I don’t exercise - I require more insulin. It is quite simply a balancing act between two medications for optimal insulin and blood sugar control. As an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, a big problem that I see in clinical practice is that people with type 1 diabetes are afraid to exercise (and even afraid to partake in activities of daily living) in case their blood sugar level drops too low. The result: a sedentary individual surviving on large amounts of insulin, rather than an active individual thriving on optimal amounts of insulin.
They say “love the one you’re with”; an expression that I didn’t appreciate until I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. I’ve not only accepted living with diabetes, I’ve learned to love it and manage it so that it doesn’t manage me. Sure, my world shifted when I was first diagnosed, but after making positive changes to the way I live, eat, move and approach life, I can honestly say I am happier and healthier today than I was before my diagnosis. So in a way you could say that diabetes gave me the gift of health. My aim is to share what I know with others so that we can learn to love our condition as a partner that walks with us, not one that rules us.”