Swimming for Diabetics: How to Take the Plunge

Diabetes SwimmingSwimming can be a good experience for diabetic patients. It helps to reduce risks related to heart disease, blood sugars and control of blood glucose. Renowned world swimmers such as Gary Hall have lived with diabetes but this did not deter him from winning a gold medal in the Olympic Games of 1996 and 2000. If you are thinking about taking up swimming as a diabetic, before you begin your program, you will need to take some precautions.

The first step is to consult with your primary doctor. He needs to be in agreement with your new plans regarding exercising. He will examine you and decide whether your body is ready to take on the new exercise. It is very important that diabetics consult with their doctors prior to starting any new exercise regime to avoid complications with their disease.

You will then be required to find a suitable place to have your swimming exercises. Find a place with professional lifeguards. You can search the internet to get an idea of what is available in your area. A YMCA facility would be a good recommendation. Discussing your finding with your doctor and find out what his opinion is about the facility. He could also have some ideas of recommended place through his contacts. Once you have found a suitable place, get to know the lifeguards and have a discussion with them to find out how they handle diabetic patients. This could also give you an indication about their level of competence in addressing these cases.

Consult with your doctor about what to carry along when going for your first swim session. It is recommended that before you start swimming, that you inform the lifeguard. Make you wear something that identifies you as a diabetic like a diabetes bracelet or what ever is recommended by the pool management.

Carry with you anything that you use in the event of an emergency, in the event you experience a drop in blood sugar. This would include things like glucose tabs and a glucose meter to test your blood sugar after exercise. Have an emergency kit prepared so that someone can retrieve the necessary emergency items for you if something goes wrong while swimming.

In case you have not taken a swimming class before, consider doing so as exercise is very helpful for helping you to manage your disease. Make a decision today to try out something new. Perhaps you used to be more active but since your diagnosis you have fallen out of your exercise routine. Taking swimming classes can be your opportunity to make a comeback.  Not only will you be doing something healthy for your body but you will also make new friends in the process.  The best part is that you will be getting out of the house for a few hours to do something productive when you might have otherwise been at home watching TV or sitting and doing nothing. Soon you will experience the wonderful benefits that swimming can provide to your health.

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