By Sheri R. Colberg, PhD
Decades ago, going to an International Diabetic Athletes Association (IDAA) meeting in 1990 helped shaped the future direction of my career in diabetes and exercise. I remember talking with people about managing blood glucose with type 1 diabetes during activities of varying types and intensities, and my interest in compiling such useful information led to my first book attempting to create a guide for exercisers with diabetes in 2001. IDAA later became the Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association (DESA), and it later combined with InsulinDependence.org. Sadly, all those organizations are now defunct, the latest casualties of money problems that many not-for-profit organizations have experienced of late.
So where can people with diabetes go for exercise-related information? Of course, there’s my free educational website, Diabetes Motion (www.diabetesmotion.com), and some Facebook groups for active individuals with diabetes, but none to date has successfully congregated people and connected them with fitness information like IDAA/DESA/IN used to. However, I am happy to announce the arrival of Diabetes Strong, a new health and fitness website for people living with diabetes. It’s the place to go if you’re looking for information and advice on everything from exercise and nutrition to the latest diabetes products and tech.
Diabetes Strong was originally created as TheFitBlog in 2015 and is the passion project of Christel Oerum, a fitness professional with type 1 diabetes. It started as a venue for Christel to describe her experience as an active woman living with type 1 diabetes, and share how she manages insulin, food, and exercise. The website quickly grew into one of the most popular diabetes websites with over 100,000 monthly visitors and was just re-launched as DiabetesStrong.com, an online diabetes magazine with a team of expert contributors (myself included).
The mission and design of the website is centered around the founders’ belief that there is nothing you can’t do with diabetes, if you have the right knowledge, tools and mindset. Their articles all have a positive “how-to” approach to diabetes and focus on solutions to some of the most common issues faced by people living (and exercising) with diabetes (like how to lose weight when you live with diabetes or how to prevent low blood sugar when exercising), including many of my articles that have been reposted on their site (such as, are exercise-induced lows making you gain weight?). You can also download Christel’s healthy meal plans or browse the libraries of healthy recipes and workout videos.
All the information on the website is free to access so you can spend as long as you like reading though their hundreds of diabetes articles. If you haven’t been there yet, check it out to see how much more information you can gather to help you manage your diabetes and health. Live long, live well, and live strong—with diabetes!
In addition to my educational web site, Diabetes Motion (www.diabetesmotion.com), I also recently founded an academy for fitness and other professionals seeking continuing education enabling them to effectively work with people with diabetes and exercise: Diabetes Motion Academy, accessible at www.dmacademy.com. Please visit those sites and my personal one (www.shericolberg.com) for more useful information about being active with diabetes.