Physical exercise is a fundamental part of glycemia control and, by extension, diabetes, but not all sports require the same level of energy expenditure. An excellent option when we try to choose a sport based on the needs of people with diabetes are water sports , one of them swimming .
Swimming is one of the most complete sports, since its practice involves the use of a large number and variety of muscles of the lower and upper extremities, abdomen and back. In addition, since it is an aerobic sport , we also strengthen the heart and lungs. To all this we must add that joint wear is reduced to a minimum, when carried out in the aquatic environment.
Another positive effect when swimming with lifeguard training is the temperature of the water as it favors circulation, it is also a good time to collect, ideas and even do a little meditation .
The opinion of a specialist must always be taken into account and that the practice of any sport must be accompanied by a balanced diet , the application of insulin and the taking of medications. One of the aspects to take into account is that the energy expenditure in swimming is high and it is not advisable to overexert yourself to avoid possible hypoglycemia. Carrying out short series of 25 or 50 meters until we have good coordination between breathing and stroke will help us reduce this risk .
Aspects to take into account when practicing swimming
It is advisable to train in 25-meter pools and swim along lanes delimited by orchards. In addition, the lifeguard training must be notified to supervise us in the event that we are beginners.
Before you start, you should take into account the following:
- Check glucose levels (with a home glucose meter) before swimming, if it is less than 80 mg/dl you should take some source of carbohydrates before starting the exercise.
- Alert your coach or someone close to the possibility of a drop in glucose level in order to be helped if it is serious.
- Treat mild symptoms such as headache, dizziness, or blurred vision. If necessary, suspend the session for that day and resume the following day.
- Take special care of your feet, as it is very important to prevent the risk of injury. It should be carefully checked before and after swimming, looking for redness, cuts, blisters or other types of injuries.
Practicing sport will help us feel better, avoid disorders such as depression or feeling tired , and it will also help us gain confidence in ourselves to carry out any activity in other areas of lifeguard training.
Also read about: The benefit of lifeguarding and swimming in the pool
Cheer up and jump into the water!
Solutions for Diabetes provides the Practical Guide to Physical Activity and Diabetes , which specifies the benefits of exercising, recommendations to avoid hypoglycemia or ketosis, and preventive measures before playing sports, among many other tips.
In the Diabetes Solutions library you can find the following diabetes guides in downloadable PDF format.
- Guide introduction to diabetes
- Acute complications of diabetes guide
- Ketone bodies guide
- Diabetes and children guide
- Gestational diabetes guide
- Insulin guide
- Diabetes and control goals guide