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The Great Outdoors

Ideas & tips for commemorating Earth Day

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It’s been 46 years since environmentalists marked the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970. Whether you’re thinking of commemorating the day by spending some time appreciating your local environment, participating in an advocacy walk or simply enjoying a picnic outdoors, read on for some tips. (Be sure to talk to your diabetes care team before making any changes to your routine.)

Hike this way
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If you live with diabetes and are considering hitting a walking or hiking trail, it’s a good idea to plan your route ahead of time, says health reporter and fitness trainer Jessica Cassity. She writes that there are resources and websites that may help you find trails in your area based on the sort of experience you’re looking for, from level of difficulty to the scenery you’d like to see.

Cassity also talks to some diabetes educators about packing tips for diabetes supplies. For a 30-minute walk, they suggest bringing a small juice box, a piece of fruit or some fast-acting glucose tablets. If you’re going out for longer than 30 minutes, it might be a good idea to check your blood sugar periodically during the hike and pack snacks that contain protein as well as carbs, such as crackers and peanut butter, fruits and nuts, or granola bars. Regardless of the length of your hike, pack more water than you think you need to prevent dehydration.

And since physical activity is an important part of helping to manage blood sugar levels, be sure to check with your care team before you head to the trails.

Read more hiking and outdoor walking tips if you live with diabetes.

Camping
Going camping and taking diabetes

For many people, “camping” may describe a wide variety of experiences. It nearly always evokes visions of campfires, s’mores and sleeping bags, but styles of camping can differ from person to person. Some people like to “rough it” while others prefer to camp with a bit more comfort. Before you set forth on a trip, take a little time to determine which type of camping is right for you and your family or friends. 

For Kate Cornell, who lives with type 2 diabetes, camping can be a wonderful way to relax and let the worries of the world slip away. Planning ahead may also mean that diabetes doesn’t have to slow you down.

Read Cornell’s tips for packing proper food and diabetes supplies, including suggestions for storing insulin while in the outdoors.

picnics_largeIf a hiking or camping adventure seems out of reach, why not try a fun picnic outside? According to registered dietitian and diabetes educator Hope Warshaw, typical picnic fare may not be considered diabetes-friendly – think potato or pasta salad, coleslaw, fried chicken and more. Instead, Warshaw recommends lower-carb and lower-fat options for each food group, from starches and grains to often-forgotten picnic-friendly fruit!

Read more of Hope Warshaw’s tips for enjoying a healthful meal in the great outdoors.

Weathering diabetes?

However you decide to spend Earth Day – or for that matter, any other day in the great outdoors – find out how weather may affect your diabetes. As author Catherine Price, who lives with type 1 diabetes, learned, humidity and extreme hot or cold temperatures may affect both your body and any diabetes-related equipment you may use.

Read more about how heat, humidity and cold may affect blood sugar management.

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Jessica Cassity, Kate Cornell, Catherine Price and Hope Warshaw are paid contributors for The DX. All opinions contained in this post reflect those of the interviewees and/or contributors, and not of Sanofi US, its employees, agencies, or affiliates. 

© 2016 The DX: The Diabetes Experience

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