In a previous post, “When is a Diabetic Toe … Just a Toe?” and it’s follow up… “Diabetic Toe… Part II”, I discuss what happened after I receive a cut on my foot from walking around the house barefooted.
Today’s post will address the other topic of the original post … barefoot activities for diabetics. Like almost all posts it applies to non-diabetics as well.
Before we begin… KNOW THIS.
The five single greatest pleasures since I began living a primal lifestyle …
1) Earning my freedom! Weaning off of drugs and insulin while maintaining normal blood sugar.
2) Beating my sons in basketball at the age of 48.
3) Running Sprints for the first time in 25 years. (approximately).
4) Running Barefoot Sprints on grass … no exercise compares in my honest opinion. The feeling of soft, dew soaked grass beneath my feet is very special to me. Even better when I am shirtless and I feel the warmth of the sun on my back.
5) Sharing what I have accomplished while watching others improve their health and enjoy life again, in short… watching others THRIVE and not just survive.
** I mention those five things so you’ll know. of the top 5 … sprinting barefoot is one of them.
So you will know just how important that is to me. Feeling the grass and damp ground beneath your feet and even better? MUD between the toes is a major ‘RUSH‘ for me!
Before YOU TOO can enjoy the mental and physical benefits of barefoot exercise, YOU too must maintain PROPER BLOOD SUGAR.
ALL diabetic complications are caused by POOR BLOOD SUGAR CONTROL! That is a fact…
What is Proper Blood Sugar Control??? What is ‘normal blood sugar’??
For me… my goal is to have an Overnight Fasting Blood Sugar sub 90 mg/dl every morning. Intra-day, I like to always stay below 120 mg/dl. ( Ideally I like to stay below 100 mg/dl )
Here is a post on my blood sugar targets, and why I chose them.
Easing Into Barefoot Exercise
Diabetic or not these apply to all.
1) Maintain normal blood sugar. (many non-diabetics have elevated blood sugars)
2) Start out walking around the house barefoot. Increasing amount of time each day.
3) Check the yard closely for sharp objects (I do this each and every time I exercise or run) and then begin walking in your yard.
4) Next begin light running in brief bursts in the backyard. Also, at this time begin doing other exercises barefoot too, including jumping jacks, squats, lunges etc.
5) Go to your high school field and walk from goal post to goal post scanning the ground for sharp objects. Then… begin jogging 50-80 yards at a time. Gradually build up speed and endurance until you are able to run and then sprint the length of the field.
6) After any exercise check your feet, check all extremities daily for cuts and bruises.
HAVE FUN!!!! Feel the wind in your face…and the sun on your back!
** If the thought of barefoot walking, exercising or sprinting is too much for you to even think about, there are ‘minimalist barefoot alternatives’.
Diabetic amputations are REAL, it’s a tragedy that occurs to thousands of people each year in the US alone. It is NOTHING to take lightly… I sure do NOT.
However, amputations occur because people do NOT maintian normal blood sugar and because they wear shoes afterwards too often. Moisture is a problem for cuts, air flow is key to allowing them to heal.
Diabetics should check their bodies for slow healing cuts, barefoot or not. Checking their feet (and extremities) daily should be a daily routine.
I’ve been SPRINTING barefooted for over a years now and NOT once have I had a cut on my feet that became infected. Not once have I had a cut that did not heal.
Before sprinting barefooted…
1) Maintain normal blood sugar.
2) Start out slow and increase intensity and endurance. (This applies to all exercise)
3) Check the ‘field of play’ for sharp objects.
…and lastly … HAVE FUN! :) …. I sure do!
Here is my Diabetes Warrior Info:
My Diabetes Meal Plan ( a true diabetes diet, not like most of those promoted by American Diabetes Association)