Drip Drip Drip. Sweat Does The Body Good


So this is my sweat. It may be gross to some, smelly to others, but to me, it’s beautiful. It’s hard earned drops of glory.

Sweating means I’m putting in effort. I’m in it. My body is moving.

When I’m stressed, anxious or depressed, dripping from head to toe can often be my saving grace.

It apparently helps rid the body of toxins, makes your skin better and prevents colds and infections. That’s according to this article right here.

I don’t doubt the benefits of sweat and hope the next time you see a dampened shirt in the mirror, you smile.





Why you don’t need a thing to work out

No clothes, no equipment. In the comfort of your own room with just your birthday suit, you can get yourself ripped.

You don’t need a thing to workout.

Seems like an obvious statement but the cost of exercising can be used as an excuse to not work out or try a new form of fitness.


You can use the structures around you get strong. A park bench, the concrete underneath your feet and your own body weight.

At my first Nike Training Club (NTC) outdoor class, our surroundings became our equipment. NTC trainer Jenny Thomson led us through an hour class on a cool Saturday afternoon. I was planking on a cement plant retainer, doing bench dips on my partner’s knees, and shuffling my feet on the playground.

Without any equipment, I got a workout that had me sore for days.

If you’re just starting a new form of fitness, there are many ways to make it easier on your wallet. There’s no need to shell out big bucks for something you may not like.

Read My favourite tech gadgets for staying fit (most featured are free) 

Top tips on saving money
  • Browse around for first timer deals. Many companies give a complimentary class. Do that at all the local spots and you can try out a variety of studios/classes and see what suits you.
  • Free apps. If you’ve got a smartphone, you’ve got a trainer at your fingertips. There are tons of different programs to try out that will keep your body guessing.
  • Head to the park. Your local playground will have enough equipment for you to do a plethora of exercises.
  • Running and cycling clubs are typically free. Check out your local shops to see what’s around.
  • Borrow equipment/clothes or head to your local thrift shop.
  • Don’t forget the power of bartering. If you have skills that may be of use to to a club/team/studio, see if you can work something out.

Once you decide on committing to something, do take the time to invest in quality gear and more importantly, quality people. It’s certainly possible on a budget.

©t1dactiveliving.com All Rights Reserved.

Connect in Canada

Jenny Thomson | Twitter | Instagram |

NTC classes are free. You need to reserve a spot in order to attend.

Nike Training Club Canada | Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram |

Thrift Stores: | Value Village | Kijiji | Ebay.ca | Swapcity.ca (barter website) | Craigslist |



Meet Alanna Swartz. She lifts weights, fundraises for JDRF & her birthday is this Saturday!

Courtesy Alanna Swartz

Courtesy Alanna Swartz

Full name: Alanna Swartz

Age: 30 on Saturday (Happy birthday Alanna!)

Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia

#T1d since: 1990

Animas vibe w/ CGM right?: Yep!

Tell us a little bit about your new job and what you do?  I am the senior fundraising and development coordinator for JDRF Nova Scotia. I manage the Walk and outreach programs including support groups for families, teens and adults.

Our connection: We know each other through social media! We have never met in person but we have some friends in common via Connected In Motion.

What type of exercise do you enjoy or have expertise in? I lift weights. Heavy ones.

What is your current workout routine? I am a creature of habit! I always warm up with some jumping jacks and box jumps. I will then do some variation of: squats, deadlifts, clean and jerks, bench presses, flies (free weights and barbell work). After I do my heavy lifting I will stretch for a few minutes to loosen up, and then I will run on the treadmill, use the stair climber, bike or row for 30 mins at top heart rate and 5 mins to cool down. I will then do a good solid stretch and usually a sauna for extra sweating.

How do you prep to workout? When I know I am going to workout I always check my blood sugar 1 hr before go time. If I am 9.0 or above I will not lower my basal rate. If I am between 6-9 I will lower by 50%, if I am between 4-6 I will lower by 80%.

Courtesy Alanna Swartz

Courtesy Alanna Swartz

What do you find to be the most challenging part of working out as a t1d? Judging if I have enough sugar in my bloodstream to effectively workout AND avoid lows. I think I need glucose on board for my lifts to be effective, so I try and stay around 7-8 while lifting. Battling lows is important, of course, so ensuring I am eating right during the lead up is just as important as my actual numbers.

What is the most rewarding part of working out for you? Mental stability 🙂 I forgive myself, and take it easier on myself on workout days.

What tips do you have for those trying to become active with t1d? Test. Test again. Then test. If you have access to a CGM-use it. But don’t feel like you have to run a marathon or become a power lifter. Just getting outdoors more, or even getting to the mall can count as activity.

What support system to you have in place to keep your spirits up? My partner is a huge support for me. He doesn’t do the gym, but he always tells me how proud he is of me, and shares my happiness when I achieve new things. He is always congratulating me on doing things that are good for me and supporting all of my healthy decisions. In part I am doing it for him. I want to be around for a long time to grow old with him and we both know that I have extra challenges with T1D.

But I also have my support group online! We check in regularly on Twitter and share successes and frustrations. We are a global group that helps each other in the non-judgemental and strategic way people with diabetes need. Everything that is moderately active is an achievement. In a world where people are running across countries and completing marathons and triathlons, we can feel that our very real and regular efforts aren’t enough. This group is online to show that what we are doing is enough, and when we aren’t doing enough we nudge each other to help ourselves and do it for our families and friends. It really is the best place to turn when we need anything. There’s no judgement or bragging just doing and caring. You can read more about it at my blog post here.

Courtesy Alanna Swartz

Courtesy Alanna Swartz

Please list your athletic accomplishments! My athletic accomplishments huh? This is tough for me, I usually keep things pretty quiet. I keep it quiet because I am fat, and I have fat friends who are very sensitive to feeling like their nose is being rubbed in weight loss crap again. But I don’t work out to lose weight. I don’t think there is anything wrong with being fat if you are taking care of yourself. I think that if I lose weight the best benefit would be having a better selection of clothes. But I have my struggles. I still have my struggles every single day with self deprecation and self loathing. I think it is engrained in me as a woman, and as someone living with diabetes that I should be ashamed of how I look, so airing my accomplishments is something so personal I don’t usually do it-I don’t see the point in me saying these things. I won’t be any more proud of myself! Soooo, I won’t get in to specifics.

I will say that when I started power lifting I set my weightlifting goal for dead lifts with my trainer and I have successfully reached that.

I do around 75% longer stints of cardio before feeling exhausted.

I taught an elderly man how to properly dead lift!

But the most important athletic accomplishment for me is that I have let up on hating myself. It still creeps up, but I can now look in the mirror and not feel ashamed. That is a HUGE step for me. More than lifting any weight or running any distance.

What message do you have for other t1d’s who are apprehensive about being active (for whatever reason)? T1D is scary. It can rob you of years on your life, and so much more. But there are ways to get around it. You just have to work a little harder than most people. The best thing you can do is meet other people with T1D and work out with them. Bounce ideas of them and report in with them regularly. Nobody else can understand what living our life can be except each other.

Any other words of motivation? Just stick with doing what makes you feel good, and don’t bother with what anyone else thinks.

Thank you Alanna for sharing your fitness story.


Alanna’s blog & Twitter 


Canadian Diabetes Association’s exercise & type 1 talk in Toronto


I am one lucky duck and I know it.

Exercise to me is heaven. The sweating, lungs burning, legs aching…I just love it.

Running, swimming, biking, dancing, yoga… I’ll take two of each!

When I head back to the change room after a great workout, I feel like a movie star who is slow motion walking as something big and bad explodes in the background.

But I understand there are those who don’t feel this way. To remind myself, I ask, “What if in order to stay healthy I had to watch medieval-themed movies for 30 minutes every day?”


And that’s what it might feel like for those who cringe at the idea of sweat session.


Exercise was the hot topic at the Canadian Diabetes Type 1 talk on Tuesday evening in Toronto.

Guest speaker Michael Jacoby is an accomplished t1d athlete and acts as the operations co-ordinator for Team Diabetes. He shared the group’s fundraising efforts for the Canadian Diabetes Association and gave the audience a whirlwind tour of all the races the group participates in around the world.


Athens, Bermuda, Prague, Reykjavik, Kauai, they are all on the list of places to travel and race for the 2014/2015 season.

Denial, acceptance and living right

Mark Kerwin provided tips on how to be successful with type 1 diabetes.

Read his suggestions and all my live tweeting from the event here

The marathoner, triathlete and Tough Mudder man admitted to being in complete denial of his disease. He confessed to the audience that he tried to starve himself (going from 190 pounds to 120), doing whatever he could to get rid of type 1 diabetes.

Acceptance was one of the keys for Mark moving forward and it is also the key to success when approaching exercise.

Say it with me?

This is how I feel about t1d and training:

I accept that it will take time and I must experiment with many different methods to find out what works for me.

I accept that no matter what I do, things may go wrong and I may not be able to perform my best.

I accept the highs and lows that sometimes come with training.

And most important of all,

I accept all the glory, pride, and feeling of awesome when I cross the finish line.

Up next

This event has inspired me to blog more about what to expect when exercising with t1d. Perhaps by educating and sharing experiences we can help others transition to an active lifestyle with more ease.

More like that action movie. Less like a medieval movie.


Team Diabetes | Website | Twitter | Facebook |

Canadian Diabetes Association | Website | Twitter | Facebook | Flickr | YouTube |

Mark Kerwin | Twitter | LinkedIn |

Michael Jacoby | Connected in Motion blog profile | LinkedIn |

Running on empty. Meter reliability in the cold.

My doctor: “Ditch the meter when you run.”


My Contour USB meter has shown below 2 mmol/L (36 mg/dl) over a half dozen times mid-run these past few months. Once it said below 1 mmol/L (18 mg/dl), blog on that here.

I’m fully aware that meters are not 100 per cent accurate. 

The question: Am I really that low or is my meter being extra wonky in the cold?

  • I’ve tried pretty much everything to warm up my meter while running. Still reading bad lows.
  • Seems like no matter how many carbs I eat, I still can go really low when running. I don’t take any insulin with my meals before running (I’m on humalog-short acting insulin ONLY with meals, hello honeymoon!).
  • Often don’t feel my lows during runs (hard to tell with being numb/sweaty already). This equals danger.

Nurse says those dangerously low numbers could POSSIBLY be right and not the meter being off in the cold.

Times I’ve seen numbers below the 2’s (around 36 mg/dl) I usually pop 4-8 Dex 4 tabs. After 15 minutes my blood sugar is typically 4-5 mmol/L (72-90 mg/dl).

Tests afterwards/done running altogether don’t run high (over 10 mmol/L or 180 mg/dl).

My nurse said that means I just MIGHT be burning all those carbs and really that low. She said she’s seen people who have high functionality with such low numbers. At the end of the day, we don’t really know.

Narrowing down the problem

photo 3-1

My doctor and I tried testing my bg’s when I wasn’t running, at a time I knew my numbers would be stable. Test indoors, then put the meter outside, wait, and test again. It produced error messages.

New plan: Create a loop so every half hour I’m passing my house. Run inside. Test. Continue on.

photo 2

I’ve learned through this process that just ditching the blood prick accessories really messes with my head.

The plan was to run a slow, steady pace which I usually do, but I just couldn’t. Not feeling the weight of my diabetes stuff made me nervous. I ran faster, which meant higher bg’s. Pain crept up on my left side, which it usually does, and I ignored the pain and just kept trying to push. My foot was exploding with agony. I ended up limping and then walking parts of it. I was scared and just wanted to get home! I had glucose tabs on me but I hated that feeling of not having my stuff on me. I’ll have to get an extra meter to carry around with me when running even if I won’t use it.

Just changing the route and testing inside? Not as easy as it seems.

photo 4.PNG

Test 1: Run one loop. 

Pre-run 5.7 mmol/L (102 mg/dl). Lower than I’d like pre-run. I usually take carbs if I’m at this level but now I can’t remember if I did this instance. Pretty sure I did.

Post-run 7.2 mmol/L (129 mg/dl)

Test 2: Run two loops instead of one.

photo 1.PNG

Pre-run 10.2 mmol/L (183 mg/dl)

First loop: 5.4 mmol/L (97 mg/dl)

Second loop/run end: 6.4 mmol/L (115 mg/dl)

So does that prove the meter is wrong? Don’t know if there’s a concrete answer to that.


There’s lots to learn, adjustments to be made and miles to run. Running is one of my huge passions and I refuse to give it up. It’s still early in the game.

So I come to you, more experienced #t1d athletes, what has been your experiences with winter running? I’d love to know your story and any tips. 

Every day I’m learning more about being active with type 1 diabetes. This journey has taught me to become more dedicated to my athletic goals and at the same time, to let go. No matter what I do, sometimes my bg’s are just not going to co-operate.  I’ve got to be okay with that. I’m pushing harder to reach certain achievements, but also learning to enjoy the process.

I have the ability to lace up my runners and go out on the road whenever I want. There are people who don’t have that luxury. That’s a perspective I’ve gained more and more after being diagnosed.

Yes working out can be difficult, but I can so I will.

See you out on the road,


Tips on winter running: 

  • Put your meter inside your glove. Keeps it much warmer.
  • Use the empty case of Listerine Pocketpaks to carry your test strips
  • ALWAYS carry some kind of fast-acting carbs with you
  • Wear some kind of medical identification
  • If you are running solo, leave your estimated time of arrival and route for a loved one. Also write down what you are wearing in case of emergency (saw this on Instagram, what a great idea!)
  • Let the people you train with know you have type 1 diabetes and the signs and symptoms of low/high bg’s

Scully gave me the first two great tips in a previous post. Thank you Scully! Check out her blog here.

Recap #WeRun2014 challenge: 100 miles in January

How are you tackling 2014?

At the end of last year I took part in the Runner’s World Run Streak (#RWRunStreak), running 1 mile every day from American Thanksgiving to New Years Day. I did whatever it took to get it done. A few times I had to resort to jogging on the spot in a hotel room to make sure I got my mileage in, but I made it!

One mile doesn’t seem like a long distance, but I found carving out the time to do it challenging. Once I started to get into it, I was on a mission to best my time as well.

1 mile goal: under 9 minutes

Fastest 1 mile: 8:32

When all was said and done, I was proud to say I successfully completed it.

A few days before 2014 I saw that Nike + was hosting a challenge called #WeRun2014. 100 miles in the month of January.

100 miles in 31 days= 3.2 miles per day (5km)

There wasn’t the demand of pounding the pavement every day like #RWRunStreak but this was a big leap in distance. Miss a few days and you can really pay the price. What if I got sick? Injured?

I crossed my fingers and tried to spread out my mileage evenly. The most I took was one day off, making it up with a 6.4 mile (10km) run the following day.

My legs started to grow tired about 2.5 weeks in. I ached, I foam rolled until near tears, but I made sure to slow down my pace to make sure I hit my mark. Whenever I could I ran outside, but this crazy winter made that dangerous at times. Getting my #WeRun2014 on via treadmill was a real mental test. At first it was excruciating, so boring and I felt like a hamster.

Now I’m used to and actually don’t mind the dreadmill treadmill. It also makes me appreciate the outdoors that much more. Another bonus is that I’ve mastered using my meter on the treadmill. No flying test strips anymore!

I crossed the virtual finish line in 12th place and with a few days to spare. This challenge has definitely taught me that if you set your mind to something, you can achieve great things, things you never thought possible. A few years ago I wouldn’t have attempted this.


#WeRun2014 challenge highlights

  • A dedication run for Meg Cross Menzies, a Boston marathoner who was killed during her morning run by a drunk driver #MegsMiles
  • 5km “Poker Run” fundraiser for Ride to Conquer Cancer
  • My longest treadmill run at 7.19 miles (11.5km)
  • My fastest 5km recorded on Nike + 30:26
  • My fastest 1km recorded on Nike + 5:12

I’m definitely going to sign up for more challenges. What fitness goals do you have for 2014? And how do you plan on reaching them?

As my cousin would say….Long May We Run


The dreaded “before” photo & taking on the Inches Challenge


I’m a big fan of my gym. Here’s why:

  • Trainers are friendly and so helpful. Every time I go in, I call on one of them to see if I’m doing an exercise correctly. I always have a good experience and walk away feeling empowered and not intimidated in the slightest (the latter being a big deal for me).
  • They provide lots of fundraising initiatives. For Christmas, one of the trainers dead lifted the total weight of how much food was donated. For Movember, donators could purchase from an exercise “menu”, appetizers being $2, a main course $5. I bought a few appetizers and purchased squats. At the end the trainers had to do all the exercises that were purchased from the Movember menu. I won a poster and free passes to the gym 😀
  • New programming. Last month I took part in two olympic lifting sessions (power clean and dead lift, which I’ll blog about later) and had a blast doing it. And now, I am taking on the Inches Challenge.

So the photo above explains it all. On Thursday I had my measurements taken and sat down to talk about my goals. You can decide your end date to the challenge. I have decided it will be a year from now.


For the most part, I want more definition. I want to build muscle and decrease my body fat percentage. 2013 was definitely a year to push myself when it came to fitness and this year, I want to continue to grow and dedicate myself to my health.

Taking a “before” photo was nerve-wracking. It took 10 seconds at the most, but standing there, in form fitting gym clothes to bare every curve in front of a lens that I wasn’t shooting was no easy task. I wouldn’t have dared to enter something like this 5 years ago.

I’ve never been a person that was proud of my body. I struggled long and hard and resounded a while back that it just wasn’t in the cards for me to be really fit. Being diagnosed, and all that has come with it, has really changed my perspective on things.

We hold so much power in our thoughts. We are much stronger than we believe. I’m thankful to be part of a fitness facility that helps build my self esteem and provides me with a comforting environment where I can say, “Yes, sign me up! I can do this.”

Find a place, whether it’s outside alone on a trail or a group class with an energetic instructor, that makes you feel comfortable. An environment that makes you feel strong, that encourages you to step outside of your comfort zone.

It makes all the difference. And with that, you will be another step closer to conquering your fears and reaching your goals.

Body Fat 33% & going down,


Count me in: My first Nike Training Club class at the Academy of Lions

Count Me In


I was surfing around last week and discovered that there are FREE Nike Training Club classes in Toronto.

Switching up the old routine is never a bad thing in my option. Your body gets a little out-of-the-ordinary shock. New environment. Different people. Right price. Count me in.

RSVP’ed on Facebook If you want to give these classes a try, RSVP early, they fill up fast. 


The classes available in Toronto are held at the Academy of Lions, a fitness facility that houses some pretty mean crossfitters.

(FYI: I have never done a crossfit workout.)

I’ll have to admit I was a bit intimidated by the setting. And I knew no one.


Enter our NTC trainer Paluna Santamaria. She’s been leading NTC classes for 6 months and has been a personal trainer for 10 years. Her directions were clear, enthusiasm was way up and she demonstrated a lot. Modifications were given often (and I took some of them as my butt was getting kicked).

After a nice warmup, all of us lined up into rows and did all kinds of sweat-filled moves. Line by line we tackled burpees, sprints, high-knee jumps and all sorts of fun stuff. At one point we split into two groups, half of the class would stay in a low squat while the other would be football shuffling. Ab burn? Check. There was a lot of that too.

I chit chatted with a few girls and overall, the atmosphere was quite friendly. What was most rewarding for me though was the applause my classmates would give to each other without direction.  It was a nice booster that kept me going when I really felt like hitting the floor for a good nap.

Taking a class like this was pretty hard for me on a mental level. Since being diagnosed I’ve been very careful as to what type of training I do. My blood glucose levels have gone wacky for different kinds of workouts (leaving me feeling very ill) so I was apprehensive.

After class I was able to open up to Paluna, who, by the way, was lifting herself up effortlessly (that’s how it looked anyway) at this bar contraption. I kind of stood and watched in awe. Asked if I could take her photo and she held herself up there for a crazy amount of time. 


“I want people to move more. We are designed to move more than we think we are,” she told me after class.

I didn’t go into great detail but told her about how I was diagnosed last year with an autoimmune disease aka. type 1 diabetes and how I really made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t let one of my organs dying deter me from reaching my fitness goals.

She hit the nail right on the head for me when she said this:

“Some people feel ashamed when they are ill. They don’t feel confident in approaching instructors. They (instructors) are happy to help you.”

My eyes kind of lit up because I knew exactly what she was talking about and I think a lot of others do too. At first I found the act of having to “confess my condition” very difficult. I knew in order to exercise I had to let people know for safety reasons, but in the beginning, the whole process was mentally draining.

I personally think it’s very important that those around you know your condition. For me having a medical ID bracelet just doesn’t cut it. The more people that know, the better off you are. People can see the symptoms sometimes before you can.

For me, some of my greatest support has come from the people I “had” to tell like members of my run club or trainers at the gym.

“More movement is good for your body and good for your health. You just have to understand your condition.”


It was then that she explained the story of one of her clients. He’s 82 years old. He’s blind. He suffered a heart attack. And you know what? Even after his ticker episode, he made the effort and was present for his training session with her. He couldn’t do everything fully, but he showed up, and he gave whatever he got.

Paluna says it’s that kind of attitude and outlook that can make your body and mind so strong.

For me, making through the session feeling good and with great bg’s gave me a lot of confidence.

So, I will declare this now: Every day I will push myself to get stronger and faster.

Blood, sweat and tears (quite literally!)


*I wrote this review to document my first NTC class. I was not compensated in any way by Nike, the Academy of Lions or Paluna Santamaria.




I’m a newly diagnosed type 1 diabetic who loves to exercise. Welcome to my unpredictable world.



When I found out I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, the first thing I said to myself was, “I’m not going to give up my exercise regime!”

It was a shock to find out after 29 beautiful years together, my pancreas function wanted out.

First off, way to be a quitter. I’ve invested a lot in keeping you and the rest of my body healthy. What gives? Maybe I took you for granted. I took a lot of things for granted actually. I just assumed you and the rest of my body would just “work”. But I guess not. And secondly, stop coming back for short bits of time and then leaving again. Either you are in or out. I don’t like this wishy-washy fling we’re having. I don’t know why it’s called honeymooning. This is no honeymoon.

Okay, back to exercising and being a newly diagnosed type 1 diabetic.

The biggest problem I face with any type of training is going low (the technical term is hypoglycemia). It has been a very long process and I am by no means at a point where I’ve found the answer on how to work out without going low. I do accept that no matter how much I prepare or try to prevent lows, they will inevitably happen.

In the year and some since I’ve been diagnosed I have been to hospital once over  hypogylcemia  involving exercise. I swam, biked and run much earlier in the day in training for my first triathlon and although I ate when I should have, I still crashed, and crashed bad. I was completely out of it and my run buddies drove me to the hospital. I didn’t know where I was, and apparently was saying on the ride there, “We are going to do swim drills now right?” I eventually came to, and was released the same night.

If you’re competitive and have a type A personality like myself, this whole process may drive you mad.

It’s important to remember the following:

  • This learning curve will teach you the great life lesson of patience
  • It will also teach you about acceptance and lastly…
  • Unless your livelihood depends on being an athlete, you’re going to need to calm down about PB’s

That is, just for the time being. This is absolutely NOT to say that you shouldn’t have goals for fitness. I have lots of them. And a quick Google search will prove that there are plenty of accomplished athletes who have type 1 diabetes.

It’s just that because you are newly diagnosed, your body is needing to adjust to everything. And it’s a process, a long one, and one that will try your patience and may have you in tears at times. But things will get better, I promise. It’s important to stay positive.

The basics to avoiding lows for me have been (after much trial and error)

  • Eating a substantial amount of carbs before working out (what is substantial, now enters the fun part, will again, be a game of trial and error)
  • Hydrating properly (I found I need to keep hydrated throughout, whereas before I could pound out 15km without a sip of water)
  • Taking in a steady stream of carbs via eLoad Endurance Formula in my hydration pack


I usually mix the formula and water in a water bottle, then pour it into my hydration pack. eLoad Endurance Formula is light in taste so it’s not super sweet and doesn’t overwhelm the senses. 

  • Testing often (for me it’s every 1/2 hour)
  • Eating immediately after a run to replenish
  • Documenting what works and what doesn’t

What works for one diabetic may not work for you. I always like to try different things because you never know what might end up being something that gives you exactly what you need. And also, what works ONE DAY may not work the next. And that can be extremely annoying. If your pancreas is honeymooning that will cause a whole other host of fun surprises in terms of how much insulin you need/carbs to intake before/during/after exercise. What has worked for me is throwing my hands in the air and surrendering to the fact that things are probably not going to go my way.

It took a lot of work from my nurses, dietitians, endocrinologist and GP to help decipher the world of diabetes and exercise, but let me tell you, it’s all worth the blood, sweat and tears (literally!). I completely two triathlons and my first half marathon recently. It can all be done, I assure you.

I realize now there are many frustrations that I just had to accept:

  • Carrying all your supplies including your meter, lancet device, test strips, glucose tabs, food
  • Constantly calculating what you should eat, how many carbohydrates are in your fuel foods
  • Stopping for hypoglycemia or when you are feeling ill
  • Having your friends and family worry about you when you train
  • Listening to people tell you “take it easy”

Those were the major annoyances that I have (for the most part) come to accept. It’s completely normal to be annoyed by the way. I thought my feelings of being fed up was a sign of weakness but it is absolutely not. This disease is exhausting.

If you are afraid of exercising because of lows, remember this: consistent exercise is prescribed a lot to manage stress and to alleviate a host of illnesses. It makes you feel good. It helps you become strong. Always talk to you doctor before starting any kind of new routine. But remember, the benefits of working out, in my opinion, heavily outweigh staying stagnant.

Keep moving,


Vacationing, Type 1 Diabetes & Exercise


Bon Voyage (to me) !

I’m heading away somewhere hot (to be decided at this point), but I know for a fact I’ll be plopped on a beach, tanning, swimming, and singing out loud to the discomfort of the strangers around me.

It’s my mission to escape the Canadian cold for just a little while.

Just to be clear, I really do love the crisp fall air as it’s perfect running weather. 

Now enter that little uncomfortable grumbling in my belly. This will be my first vacation outside of North America. Last year I ventured to Pennsylvania for three days but other then that, I’ve been in province. I’m a bit nervous!

As I usually do, I took to the Twitterverse to ask for your help! Here are some great suggestions I got from Jen Grieves aka. MissJenGrieves,  Jolene aka. Yoga_Pumper, Anne Marie Hospod aka. SweetRunMDSara Nita aka. NitaCure4T1D & JDRFAdvoacy.



1. Purchase a Frio to keep insulin cool. Your insulin is no good when it’s boiling under the hot sun. Or freezing in the Arctic.

2. Pack double the amount of all supplies just in case of emergency. That includes a spare pump, extra insulin pen etc.

3. Obtain a letter from a doctor instructing security officials about passing through x-rays with a pump, carrying an insulin pen and lancets etc. on board, whatever needs to be clarified before your vacation. Better safe than sorry.

4. Carry all supplies on board with you. It guarantees you’ll have it when you land. This can’t always be said of your checked luggage.

So here’s what I need to do: compile a list of must-have’s for the trip, and make sure I feel safe so far away from home with all my supplies so I can vacation, exercise and enjoy myself! Yes, I’m that person in the hotel gym for over an hour or running the streets of my vacation city.

Diabetes supply list for happy vacationing and out of town exercise: 

  • Insulin Pen (x2)
  • Lancets (10)
  • Pricker (x3)
  • Test Strips (100)
  • Alcohol wipes (10 individual packs)
  • Glucose Tabs (5 Dex 4 bottles)
  • Needles (10)
  • Extra batteries for metre or charging device
  • Stevia packets (20)
  • Glucagon (1)
  • Letter front doctor
  • Vaccinations for international travel
  • Know the location of the nearest hospital and english speaking doctors
  • Extra antibiotics
  • Proper footwear to protect your feet
  • Road ID bracelet
  • CamelBak Podium Chill water bottle (I like that these bottles never leak, are great for cycling and are easy to clean. I also bang these around a lot and they seem to take it pretty well.
  • e Load Endurance Powder in zip lock bags (4) I take this during long rides/runs and it keeps my bg’s pretty steady. I also like the taste!
  • HammerGel Recoverite in zip lock bags (4) I take this after heavy weight sessions and after intense training events. 
  • SPI Belt (or whatever you need to carry all your goodies on the go). I don’t run without it. I also keep it poolside when I’m training too).


Helpful Links

JDRF Advocacy’s article on traveling with diabetes

Jessica at blog Mastering Me has a great article on traveling with type 1. Her experience when trekking in Asia.

Am I missing anything? What do you think of the list?

Peace, Type 1 & Exercise,