It’s funny sometimes how I recognize that I’ve become dependent on things that I never had during my youth. Air conditioning is a good example… As a child, I have NEVER lived in a residence that had site conditioning. In fact, I remember one particularly hot summer where my bedroom was located in the upstairs of a small house. It was one of those upper floors that included angled walls because you were right against the roof. This means you also had the sun’s mighty gaze bearing down right above your head as you played in your room.

I often think about how more comfortable I might have been and how my blood sugar control may have been tighter during my childhood if I had the refuge of a cooler environment during the summer months. Although total temperature rarely gets beyond the high 20’s (Celsius) in Northern New Brunswick, the humidity adds an extra level of hell to the mix. But I digress…

The sun er heat can have a significant impact on a person’s overall health, especially as it involves Type-1 Diabetes because, well… EVERYTHING affects Type-1 Diabetes. But rather than be facetious, I should probably explain the how’s and why’s behind that statement. After all, this is a hot issue… See what I did there…? Summer heat? Hot issue? Alright, carrying on…

It’s been a bit of a hellish week in Regina, Saskatchewan, with daily heat reaching the mid-30’s and making the possibility of spending any time outdoors without my cut off jean shorts (I believe the kids call them “jorts,” now) an impossibility. Stepping outside during the day brings about difficulties breathing, sweating and a general sense of discomfort that most people don’t enjoy. Don’t get me wrong; I’ll definitely take hot, sunny weather any day over the cold of winter and shovelling snow. I’m not complaining, here…

I have the benefit of having an individually climate-controlled office, which allows me to work through my day in the relative comfort that I’ve come to enjoy in my older years. I also have a brand new air conditioner at home, which we had installed last fall. Although my basement is sometimes a bit on the icy side, I have the benefit of maintaining a cool living space in the upstairs, which is a benefit that my children have that I didn’t get to experience as a child.

Although the summer is winding down, it’s a great time to provide a reminder that being out in the heat brings about a certain number of issues as we work out or deal with Diabetes. For one, extreme heat will expose us to the possibility of dehydration, which is not only dangerous but can cause rises in blood sugar. Working out for prolongued periods in the heat can bring about dangers of heat stroke and exhaustion, both of which can be quite dangerous if one does not recognize the signs and grab some shade to rest.

Remember to stay hydrated, take shelter and take breaks and don’t be afraid to switch up your fitness routine to accommodate exercise in an air conditioned environment. It’s been a few weeks since I’ve been on my bike. I sure do miss being out and about on it, but it’s a fair price for pay to maintain my health. Check your blood sugars often and drink plenty of fluids (no, beer and coffee don’t count!). Even if it’s a bit cloudy out, be sure to apply sunscreen as the su’s UV rays will still reach you. Enjoy the heat, but safely. ☯️

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I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

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