Summer Fun and Diabetes

School’s out for summer!  I don’t know about you, but summer is one of my favorite seasons.  It’s the one time of year when we seem to have the most time and freedom to do one of the best things possible for diabetes management – having some fun!

Effective diabetes control means making healthy lifestyle choices.  You know the routine – a healthy diet, exercise, and regular blood sugar testing. The trick is making the routine more fun.

Having fun is good for you! It turns out that having a good time, experiencing positive emotions, and especially laughing all have health benefits. You’ll lower your stress levels, improve your blood pressure, and enjoy better blood sugar control.  (That’s only scratching the surface: you can read more about this in What’s So Funny About Diabetes?: A Creative Approach to Coping with Your Disease )

Here are some great ways to add healthy fun to your summertime routine:

  • Dance: Dancing is lots of fun and great exercise. Get up and shake your groove thing! Ballroom dancing, tap dancing, polka dancing, festive folk dancing, line dancing, even Zumba – it doesn’t matter what type of dancing you do as long as you’re having fun. You can dance at home. You can dance when you go out. Try dancing down the aisle at the grocery store – why do you think they play that snazzy music for?
  • Ready, Set, Go!: Remember when you were a little kid and there was nothing more fun than a race? The fun’s still there, waiting for you to join in. Every community has races of some sort, from fun runs to full marathons. Consider joining in! Another option is to create your own race: grab a friend and park in the furthest spot in the parking lot. Who will make it to the front door first? (It’s probably better for your health if you don’t pick the busiest parking lot in town!)
  • Cell Phone Calisthenics: Give your cell phone to a small child and tell them to hide it somewhere in your house. (Make sure you make the bathroom off limits for this game!) Then try to find it before that vitally important call goes to voice mail! It’s a workout for your body and your brain!
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