Sunday, April 23, 2017

Transitioning from Treadmill Running to Outdoor Running

Now that spring is here, it is time to take your running outside!  It is important to make a slow transition from running inside on a treadmill to running outside on the pavement.  There are many things to consider and to prepare for that will help in preventing injury.

- Ease into it and your body will thank you.  
- Run shorter distances at first to prevent shin splints and to allow your body to adjust to the new conditions.  
- Going downhill can be rough on your quads and knees so taking a hill slow at first is recommended.  
- Try heading into the wind first to get the hard part out of the way.  You will burn more calories and increase your endurance while you are battling the wind, so there is a benefit!  
- Mapping your run can also help you steer clear of the hills and ensure you don’t overdo it.  
- Finding comfortable shoes is very important in preventing blistering.  
- You want your shoes to fit perfect; not too tight and not too loose.  
- Keep your feet as dry as possible by using wicking socks.  Or, you can sprinkle foot powder or spray antiperspirant on your bare feet to prevent blisters.  If you are prone to blisters, tape that part of your foot with sport tape. 
- Make sure you have some type of ID on you in the event of an accident.  
- Let someone know what time you are leaving and where you are going.  
- Make sure you are aware of your surroundings.  
- Always wear sunblock because the rays can come right through the clouds and you could be left with a painful burn. 
 - Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated but if you are working out for long periods of time, drink a sports drink to replenish your carbohydrates and electrolytes.  
- It is recommended to drink 16-32 ounces of water before you run outside and take plenty with you.  - If it is sunny, you can wear fabrics that are sunscreen treated that prevent the sun from getting through to your skin.  
- You can also wear sunglasses to help prevent the UV rays from causing eye problems.  
- Running in the heat can take a toll on your body, so try running during the coolest part of the day.   
- You can also get acclimated to the heat in a few weeks of running outside in hot temperatures if running at different times is not an option.  Just ensure you give your body enough time to adapt; you don’t want to overheat!

It is very important to take it slow when transitioning from indoor treadmill running to outdoor pavement running.   Following these recommendations will help in preventing injury.  It is time to get out and enjoy the fresh air!  Happy running!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Exercising With Children

While there are still many children who remain physically active, there are more and more children that rather surf the Internet or play video games than be involved in physical activity.  Ensuring children have enough physical activities throughout the day is very important to their growth and development.   Exercise benefits children’s physical health, motor skills and mental health in many ways:

* It will develop muscle strength that will assist in preventing injuries.
* It will improve their heart and lung capacities that will help them function more efficiently.  This will benefit in day-to-day activities and in controlling blood pressure. 
* It will assist in keeping their bones strong, which will aid in preventing osteoporosis later on in life. 
* It will decrease body fat and assist in maintaining a steady, healthy weight. 
* It will help children expend energy, which helps with weight control. 
* It can help reduce the risk for Type II Diabetes. 
*Their self-esteem appears to rise and they gain confidence, feeling comfortable in their own shoes. 
*It helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety due to the physical activity alternating the brains chemistry and increasing the levels of serotonin. 
*It increases concentration and alertness by releasing endorphins that act on the brain to improve mental focus and cognitive skills. 
*It helps boost their energy levels by stimulating their circulation and blood flow that deliver oxygen and nutrients to their tissues. 
*It controls mood swings and improves feelings of happiness! It 
is mental stimulation that gives children the sense that they have achieved something.

            In order to achieve results, it is suggested that children take part in some type of physical activity at least 60 minutes every day according to the American Heart Association.  Unlike adults, they do not need to follow a specific exercise program to achieve these results.  Running, jumping, climbing, playing on the playground, shooting hoops, kicking a soccer ball, riding bikes, etc. are all examples of activities that are sufficient to meet their needs.  Going to the pool is another great option that is fun for everyone and can be a great aerobic exercise.  They should take part in activities that interest them. Activities at a local YMCA or after school sports can be a fun option.  As a parent or leader, you can take part in their physical activity and be a role model.  Ask them what they like to do and get the entire family involved.  Let them pick the activity; this makes them feel special!  Make sure they have access to active toys like balls, jump ropes, bikes, etc.  Making the activity fun and playing as a family will trump the Internet and video games and the child will receive the exercise they need.

            Teaching children a healthy active lifestyle will benefit them well into the future.  It is important to be involved and ensure they have the resources available to be physically active.  Making it fun and not too much like a lesson is key with children.  If they are doing something they enjoy and are not forced to do it, they are likely not to quit.  Regular physical activity is very important for children as their growth, development and mental health depends on it.  Exercise on!

This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read herein.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Easter Basket Ideas For Children With Diabetes

Here comes Peter Cottontail!  Easter is just around the corner and the excitement is building up!  Children love Easter and the sugary candies that come with it.  It is important for diabetic children not to indulge in too many sugary foods at once, rather keep it at a minimum.  If you have multiple children, treat them equally, if one gets a chocolate bunny or peeps they all get a chocolate bunny or peeps.  What’s Easter without a chocolate bunny? 

If you want your child to have the standard chocolate bunnies, peeps and jellybeans, controlling intake is key.  Mark the packaged candy with the amount of carbohydrates.  Place the loose candy in baggies and mark the baggies with the total carbohydrates.  This will aid in tracking the amount.  There are diabetic Easter eggs available however they are not recommended.  These are very hard on the stomach and can act as a laxative.  They also have just about as many carbohydrates as regular candy.  Stay away!

Children don’t want to feel excluded because of their diabetes and we shouldn’t worry about the one or two treats they consume, as these will not affect their long-term blood glucose control.  Instead of eating the treats all at once, they can have a piece throughout the week with meals. Adjusting their insulin can also assist in letting them enjoy the holiday treats without worrying too much.  Just remember to check their levels a couple of hours after eating the sugary treats.

There are alternatives to filling up their baskets with these treats.  Just give them a few and then fill up the rest of the basket with other fun items!  Some filler ideas for teens and adults could include; DVDs, yogurt-covered raisins, scarves, ties, sugar-free gum, dark cocoa-dusted almonds, cash or gift cards, jewelry, coffee or tea, ear buds, iTunes gift card, sunglasses, hats, sandals, hand sanitizer, nail polish, lip gloss, socks, etc.

Filler ideas for kids baskets could include; stickers, tattoos, plastic eggs filled with coins, crayons and coloring books, paints, paint brushes, journal, eraser, pencil sharpener, crafts, small stuffed animals, small toys, mini puzzles, bubbles, chalk, balls, jump rope, bucket and shovel, pool toys, swim goggles, Yo-Yo, gardening tools, binoculars, magnifying glass, admission passes to parks, movie theater gift card, ear buds, slinky, kinetic sand, bouncy balls, hot wheels, trains, mini figures, rubber duckies, small board games, Pokémon cards, trading cards, baseball cards, mini Lego sets, Easter themed books, comic books, shoe charms, headbands, etc.

To add to the fun, hide their Easter baskets!  Make a scavenger hunt.  Start with a plastic egg in their room that has a clue inside that will take them on an adventure throughout the house that will end at their Easter basket filled with fun inexpensive items and a few treats.  If a scavenger hunt is not your forte, another idea is to tie a string to their bedroom door and run it all through the house, over/under/around tables and chairs and up/down the stairs that will end at their Easter basket.  You can use different colors of string for each kid to make it their own.  These are fun ideas that the kids will enjoy!

Easter can still be fun for a child with diabetes; you just have to get a little more creative.  It’s all about managing what and how much they can have at one time and monitoring their levels.  Keep it fun for the children and make sure they don’t feel different than the other children in the family.  Believe it or not, children may enjoy the hunt for the basket and getting toys more than getting a basket filled with a bunch of candy!  Happy Easter!