How Joslin Suggests You Start Running

August 25th, 2010 by Amy Gonsalves Leave a reply »

Joslin Diabetes Center lists their 8 Tips For Running with Diabetes below.  I kind of think they are good tips for people without diabetes, too.  Not everyone who has a cardiovascular, orthopedic, or other problem has diabetes… so just be smart about your body and your physical conditions before you go out and try to win that gold.

Now, I want to repeat that I don’t think running is for everyone.  Some people simply hate running.  If you hate running, I don’t want you to spend time crafting your running skills—you’d hate the time and you’d hate me.  No need for that.  Only invest in learning what you need to keep yourself running, safe, and happy if you enjoy a few minutes of the run.  Those minutes will grow and grow as you keep at it.  (I know you won’t believe me when you’re out there, but it’s true.)

When I started running outside and no longer on a treadmill, I had been run/walking for about a year.  I never kept a log of my running and blood glucose readings—although I frequently checked while running.  I kept a log in my head, though, and one doctor asked me why I would think I could do it that way (meaning, I think, that he wanted me to write the numbers down so he could see them too).  Probably because I was stubborn.  (ya think?!  Still am.)  He made a good point, though: no need to make a point if making that point complicates your life.  Keep track so that you learn what your body does.  That knowledge will help you in all areas of your life with diabetes.

Now get out there!

“Walking is for everyone and provides tremendous health benefits,” says Michael See, M.S., R.C.E.P., a clinical exercise physiologist at Joslin. “Jogging is a great form of exercise for individuals who prefer to participate in a more vigorous exercise program.” Here are his tips to get the benefits of a healthy running program:

1. Get your doctor’s clearance. People with diabetes should consult their doctors if they want to go beyond purposeful walking, to make sure that they are not at risk from cardiovascular, orthopedic or other problems.

2. Walk before you run. Go from walking to running in a gradual process. Begin with purposeful walking (for half an hour or so), then combine walking and jogging, and then increase the jogging.

3. Wear the right footwear. Consult with an expert when you buy the shoes. Make sure that they fit well and are appropriate for running.

4. Dress appropriately. Dress in layers; wear absorbent materials close to skin to wick away perspiration and an outer layer to protect you from the wind and other elements. Wear a reflective vest if you’re out at night.

5. Find a partner or role model. Look in your community for running groups or clubs. Invite your neighbor or colleague to join together during lunch. If you’re interested in going the distance and even maybe running a marathon, pair up with someone who has done it.

6. Keep a goal in mind. You may want to set your sights on an event such as a five-kilometer road race for charity.

7. Have a plan for managing your diabetes. Measure your blood sugar before and after the activity (and during it, if needed). Carry juice, a sports drink, a piece of fruit or glucose tablets. Keep a training log, recording your miles and your blood glucose readings.

8. Listen to your body. Starting gradually and being consistent are the secrets to improving your health and fitness, avoiding injury and managing your blood sugar levels.

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