I require form a diabetic client a physician’s approval.
What you need to consider depends quite a bit on the severity and nature of the diabetes. The client may have to get instruction from a diabetes educator about monitoring glucose levels before and after exercise and possibly adjusting the food intake and insulin administration. If neuropathy has developed, the client may have balance problems. Until you know how the client will respond, it will be a good idea to have some juice at the ready in case the client becomes hypoglycemic.
Most of the rest of the training will depend a lot on the base condition as with every other client. Many diabetic clients are in poor health but they can also present as a person in very good shape, particularly when they have type 1 diabetes.
It will be advisable to have a specific conversation with the client about his experience of exercise and its effect on diabetes. Remember that diabetes management is the client’s responsibility, not yours, but you need to know the warning signs of trouble. Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic’s information http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetic-coma/basics/sympt….
A couple of more things to keep in mind (in addition to Karin’s suggestions) is that some Type 1 diabetics do have an insulin pump which is a big help and convenience to them every day. So they will need to adjust their pump’s settings according to their activity level. I don’t want to go into details here, but they need to know what those new settings are because they can affect their training (among many factors). Having juice is a good idea, but also anything else that has sugar and/or carbs will do the job (Fruit Snacks packages which can be found in many stores are great alternative and easy to carry). Some diabetics are in excellent shape and it’s not unusual for many of them to be able to compete in long distance events, so assessing each person individually is the best approach (not one size fits all approach). I hope this helps.
Very good answers so far. The portable sugar that I carry is the little gel-packs of runner’s energy gel. “Goo,” is a popular brand, by Gatorade I think. Maybe have you client choose what perks them up the best and have that at hand just in case.
I’ve only had to use it once, and it was for another trainer’s client (at their request), but it was sure handy!
Hello Matthew Tompkins,
Another consideration is how to speak to a diabetic: they are “people with diabetes” not a “diabetic.” Also, let them decide how intense they are able to exercise, so as not to discourage them; but, at the same time, keep a close eye on them for symptoms.
Remember that slow and steady wins the race; there is no need to overdo something. The body will most likely make faster gains without pushing too hard. Listen to the body.
I keep emergency contact information and supplies with me at all times for all clients; since, diabetes is many times not diagnosed…yet.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
Get a release from a doctor. Are they type 1 or type 2? Do they have have an insulin pump or do they take a shot? Have glucose tablets on hand just in case blood sugar gets low. Know the signs of low and high blood sugar. Work with them to find out what works best nutrition-wise pre and post workout. Research the condition and learn as much as you can about it.