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Three Types of Stretching

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Three Types of StretchingI want to share the basics of three types of stretching with you because of the positive impact it has on blood sugar levels. If you are new to stretching, please keep an eye on your blood sugars for the first few sessions as it can be more challenging that you would think. However, before you begin, learn a little bit about it so you are not just stretching for the sake of it.

There are positives behind the three types of stretching. But, tet’s start with why we stretch after exercise, and sometimes before. To put this as simple as possible; when you lift weight, use resistance or even just carry your own body weight your muscles become accustomed to a certain action and the muscle begins to shorten. We stretch to do the opposite; to lengthen the muscle.

There are 3 main types of stretching.

Static Stretching
This is the most popular form of stretching; you have most likely used static stretching during a P.E. session at school or even before a short jog. Static stretching involves taking a muscle to the end of its range of movement and holding it in this position. Example: standing quadriceps stretch. This is safe for beginners. A pre warm up stretch will last 8-10seconds and a cool down stretch will last 15-30 seconds.

Three Types of StretchingDynamic Stretching
This discipline allows you to strengthen and stretch during the same action. Example: a dancer would do front kicks; this would stretch the hamstrings whilst strengthening their quadriceps. The use of dynamic stretching is often used as part of a warm up in an aerobics class.

Ballistic Stretching
I would not recommend this to beginners. Ballistic stretching uses bounces and forceful movements to stretch a muscle. This will take the muscle beyond its natural range of motion. It stimulates the stretch reflex allowing you to go that bit further than you would with any other stretch. Ballistic stretching is used in martial arts, gymnastics and karate.

There are lots of arguments that are either for and against each type of stretching so if I were you I would try them all and see what works best for your body. I use a mixture of them all during my stretching routines and I always have done.

Try these three types of stretching and let me know your favourite in the comments below or your can tweet, instagram or facebook.

Rowena x

My Diabetic Honeymoon

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My Diabetic HoneymoonI think it’s time for me to accept that my diabetic honeymoon period is coming to an end.

Having been put on an insulin pump 2 weeks after diagnosis I felt that I was managing my diabetes really well until last week where I was experiencing a few more hypos than usual. The lowest was 2.6 and I felt vile. So, in order to prevent these lows it was suggested that I remove my pump as I was only taking 2 units per day (basal/bolus combined) anyway.

Four days without having to carry the pump was great. I had no readings above 9 and no ketones above 0.3. However, on the last day without it I ate some more carbs than usual and this sent my meter into double figures and rising. In response to this I immediately chose a site, put a cannula in and administered a correction dose. It didn’t do the trick at first so I had to do the same again in the morning.

The headaches and dry mouth are enough to tell me that I am high I don’t even need to check. I have been feeling like this the past few days as the basal rate (0.1) and insulin/carbs (1/15) ratio doesn’t seem to fit well with me anymore as I am seeing unusual highs. I think they may both need increasing? I have emailed my diabetes nurse so we’ll see what she says.

Anyway, honeymoon period or no honeymoon period I have been keeping up with my training. Lots of dance, yoga, running, circuit training, painting, walking, pole dancing and generally moving about. I plan to write a different blog post for all of the above and show a few pics of my skills.

I would love to hear about your honeymoon period. How long did it last? Did you still need to take your insulin? Were you sad when it ended? You can talk to me in the comments below or on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Type 1 and Active

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Type 1 and ActiveWho fancies reading about my addiction to exercise? I love anything that keeps me active and fit. That’s the way I have been as far back as I can remember. For me, managing exercise has always been fairly effortless as I have a genuine enthusiasm for it. However, 3 months ago I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. Not the best news, I know, but rather than seeing it as a burden, I believe this has given me an extra challenge towards my training. There is no way in this world that this condition will stop me from doing anything active and I hope that it won’t ever stop anyone else. Since diagnosis I have been able to perform (contemporary dance), dance, pole dance, run, cycle, swim, yoga, golf etc. I do everything I normally do and I plan to keep it that way.

My fascination has grown in response to the physiology of the body and how it all works when you exercise. I always thought of exercise to be a release, an improvement tool, a calorie burner and a strength builder. Now I know that a lot of other things are mixed into the equation, especially when combining it with insulin doses. When I calculating my meal time insulin I have to consider how active I will be whilst the bolus is active. For example, if I eat 40 carbs for breakfast and I know I will be still for a few hours afterwards I will take 1unit:15carbs. However, if I know I am going to be very active straight after the breakfast of 40 carbs I will half my dose thus having 1unit:30carbs. I might even have to keep a snack handy (10-15grams of CHO to be exact). I have learned that I am very sensitive to insulin around exercise. It’s as if I am diabetes free, if only.

This blog is for me to ramble on about my experiments and my achievements. I love setting goals for myself and doing anything that I can in order to reach them. At the moment I have upped my weight training and kept my cardio at the same level. In terms of diet I am planning to look into my macronutrients in order to reduce body fat and gain lean muscle. As a vegetarian I am looking to find good sources of protein that are not too high in carbohydrate. So, if you fancy reading about a vegetarian, type 1 diabetic dancer who never sits down then I suggest you follow  me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.