Whenever you do anything as a Type 1 Diabetic it takes preparation. We can’t just go out on a whim without certain medical essentials. Having started an exercise plan this month I have had to sort out my old gym stuff, and after 3 years of not going it took some finding! When I sorted through it and packed my bag it dawned on me that I need some extra bits to make sure my diabetes was in check whilst at the gym.
The Standard Bits
- T Shirt
- Trainers – More about this later
- Water Bottle
- Small Gym Towel
- Shower Gel
Most people who go to the gym have their set stuff in their kit bag, and I’m no different. Listed below is the stuff that lurks in my kit bag from pre Type 1 days
Already quite a full bag of stuff, but if you are all prepared then you usually succeed at most things in life, guess a healthier lifestyle is no different.
Then Comes The Diabetic Trappings
On top of the everyday gym stuff it is essential as a Type 1 to have your diabetic kit organised. I like to have a separate set of diabetic tackle in my kit bag in addition to my everyday man-bag supplies. By having it already in my gym bag there is no chance of leaving it at home. I know that if I forgot my supplies I would be tempted to still do a workout anyway, and that really isn’t a good idea.
- Medical I-D – In a gym full of strangers it is essential that if you collapse people know you are a Type 1 Diabetic. Without some form of ID most people would assume you have over exerted yourself if you have a big hypo.
- Emergency Contact Info – It’s a good idea to make sure you have something in place for this. If the worse happens and you pass out at least your next of kin will be informed. Most smartphones have the option of putting ICE details on the lock-screen.
- Blood Testing Kit – I always take this into the gym. I like to see how each different exercise affects my levels. Even if you do not test what the activity does it is a good idea to have this to hand anyway. It is amazing how the feeling you get after 45 minutes on a treadmill is very similar to a hypo! I will be looking into CGM soon, this will reveal exactly what effect exercise has on my levels.
- Hypo Treatments – Goes without saying really. If you exercise there is a higher chance of having a hypo and you don’t want to be caught out with no treats. The standard treats of jelly babies etc are not really practical in the gym. Instead of these I use a carton of fresh orange juice if I need a quick sugar hit. To avoid a hypo I mix 150ml fresh orange juice in with my 500ml water bottle. The 16g carbs this gives seems to keep my levels where I want them in the gym. I also keep some glucose tablets close to hand.
- Well Fitted Trainers – This is essential for us diabetics. The last thing you want is blisters and foot problems. I have a pair of Sketchers for the gym. Nice and comfortable and really well-fitting. Cost shouldn’t mater when it comes to your feet!
- SPIbelt – An essential bit of kit for the active pumper. The last thing you want whilst pounding the treadmill is for your pancreas to fall out and go whizzing across the gym! A good idea a friend of mine gave me was to wear 2 of these, one for your pump and the other for your supplies. If you haven’t seen the SPI belt check it out ➡ Here
That’s how I make sure I’m prepared for any issues whilst in the gym, would love to hear any tips or advice you have, please comment below if you have any other advice to add.
Take care, hypos are a mare