14 April 2014

Stop taking your feet for granted

I used to love going barefoot. It pains me - no pun intended - that I should not do so anymore. I went barefoot so much so that my feet were like one big callous. Once, while at college, one of the main streets in town was being repaved and there was no way around. I had left my shoes at a friend's house so I crossed the street - against the warning of the guys working - in my bare feet. I made it across the two lane street without feeling anything. In fact, it didn't hurt until I cleaned the tar off my feet. That was painful. The point is though that I never thought anything of it that I could not feel my feet ... until I was diagnosed with diabetes and began to read up on various issues relating to diabetes.

Over time diabetes can cause us to loose feeling in our feet. What should you do about it? Begin by starting a routine that involves foot care and maintenance.
  1. Check your feet daily.
  2. Wash your feet every day.
  3. Lotion the bottom and tops of your feet. Do not lotion between your toes though.
  4. Take care of corns and callouses. If you cannot physically do this, see a podiatrist.
  5. Keep your toenails trimmed. Again, if you cannot physically do this, see a podiatrist.
  6. Do not go barefoot. Wear shoes and socks. Do not wear tight socks though.
  7. Get active!
Diabetes affects more than 26 million people in the US alone. At some point, statistics show that more than half of those 26 million people will loose feeling in their feet.

April is Foot Health Awareness Month. Don't take your feet for granted.

Photos: CDC

12 April 2014

Lancaster to Walk to Cure Diabetes

There is still time to register for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s (JDRF) Lancaster Walk to Cure Diabetes. The Walk is a great way to show your support for all those living with type 1 diabetes (T1D) and to raise funds for JDRF, which is the leading global organization, focused on T1D research. It will once again be held at Clipper Magazine Stadium on Sunday, 1 June.

Click HERE to read the full article as it appeared today on Examiner.com.

02 April 2014

Yoga Pose of the Day: Reclining Bound Angle Pose

Today's Yoga Pose - as put out there in the One Minute Yoga group at SparkPeople - Reclining Bound Angle Pose, or Supta Baddha Konasana.

It feels nice to do some yoga again. I was feeling rather stupid and awkward. I've mentioned before that I joined a local gym - Universal Athletic Club - and I love it. I really do. The Bodyflow classes and the yoga classes are great and since I joined in January, I have lost 12 pounds and my A1C dropped from 8.2 to 6.9. This is the first time since I was diagnosed in September of 2009 that I have been below 7. However, early last month my husband finally joined me in one of the classes. I was excited. I thought we were going to do something together. Silly me. After class all he did was correct my every position. Everything I had done was incorrect and he said I would get more out of it if I could actually do the poses. I was so embarrassed. Mortified really. Here I had been writing these articles and trying my best as I thought I was learning the poses. Oh I felt like such a pompous ass. And so ... I found every excuse not to go to class or even the gym :(

Yesterday I got my good news from my doctors office and decided that his opinion did not matter. So, last night, I had time between "mom taxi" runs and class fit perfectly in so I went and it was great to move again although I was ever so conscious of my moves.

That is one reason why I like these daily poses. It's only designed to be a 10 minute or so exercise, unlike class which is an hour.

This pose has several benefits, according to My Yoga Online. The pose:
  • Frees energy flow in your pelvic area.
  • Stretches your inner thigh and groin muscles.
  • Stimulates your abdominal organs and improves mobility in digestive organs.
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of stress, mild depression, PMS and menopause.
  • Relaxes your mind and the central nervous system

  •  Instructions on how to are at My Yoga Online. The steps are written out. Remember your breathing and the pose feels great. At first glance, I doubted the stretch on my inner thighs and the energy flow. I have to say though that the pose did both. My only negative comment is that I started getting a cramp almost in my left butt cheek. Weird, right?

    Maybe I was just doing the pose wrong! Maybe I can't even lay on my back right. Grrr. I do have to agree though that it would be nice to go somewhere where they teach the poses one by one.

    a personal note ...

    good news today. A1C down to 6.9 ... first time under 7 since diagnosed in 2009!!!

    National Minority Health Month

    April is National Minority Health Month. Did you know that African Americans, Hispanics and Latinos, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, are disproportionately affected by diabetes?

    This means if you fall within one of these ethnic groups, you may be at risk for developing diabetes.

    17 March 2014

    FreeStyle® and Freestlye Flash® Blood Glucose Meters Recalled

    Abbott is voluntarily conducting a recall for the FreeStyle® Blood Glucose Meter and the FreeStyle Flash® Blood Glucose Meter. These two meters have not been in production since 2010. Other Abbott Diabetes Care meters are not affected by the recall.

    When used with the Abbott FreeStyle test strips, the FreeStyle Blood Glucose Meter and the FreeStyle Flash Blood Glucose Meter may produce mistakenly low blood glucose results. Abbott began notifying users on Feb. 19, 2014, immediately after the issue was discovered.

    If this recall affects you, contact Abbott Diabetes Care at 1-888-345-5364 to obtain a replacement meter.

    Abbott suggests that you immediately discontinue use of the affected meter,  if you have access to an alternative glucose meter. If the only meter available to you is an affected meter, continue to test your blood glucose as recommend by your doctor while you wait for your replacement meter.

    When using an affected meter, take the following precautions to reduce the chance of a false reading:
    • As stated in the product insert, perform a quality control solution test to confirm that your meter is working correctly. Do not use a test strip vial if control solution results are not within the expected range.
    • Contact your health care provider immediately if your blood glucose result(s) are not consistent with your diabetes history, how you feel, or if you think your results are not accurate (higher or lower than expected). Symptoms of high blood sugar include excessive thirst, excessive urination, blurred vision, weakness, nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are not feeling well, contact your health care professional immediately.

    This voluntary recall does not apply to any other Freestyle brand blood glucose monitoring systems – Freestyle Lite®, Freestyle Freedom Lite® or Freestyle InsuLinx® systems can continue to be used with the Freestyle test strips.

    For users of the OmniPod® Insulin Management System with the built-in FreeStyle Blood Glucose Meter, please refer to the previously sent letter for Abbott recommended actions or visit https://www.abbottdiabetescare.com/press-room/2014/2014-b.html.

    This is directly from a press release from Abbott.

    Sunday's Yoga Pose is the Revolved Triangle Pose

    Today's Yoga Pose - as put out there in the One Minute Yoga group at SparkPeople - Revolved Triangle Pose, or the Parivrtta Trikonasana. This pose, quite honestly, tires my arm, especially my right arm.

    I've been having problems with my right arm. It's been so sore lately. I even went to the chiropractor at the gym earlier this month. But that's another whole story ...

    Stand in your mountain pose. Raise your arms so that they are out straight to the side, parallel to the floor.  Turn your torso to the left side and lean forward over the front leg. Reach your right hand down, and place it on the floor. It can go on either side of the foot. If you need too, use a block. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to a minute. Switch sides.

    Photo: Yoga Journal

    15 March 2014

    Today's Yoga Pose is the Wide Seated Forward Bend Pose

    Today's Yoga Pose - as put out there in the One Minute Yoga group at SparkPeople - is the Wide Seated Forward Bend Pose, or the Upavistha Konasana. This pose is a nice stretcher, although my belly still gets in the way while doing it. Since doing the Yoga and Bodyflow classes at Universal Athletic Gym though, I have noticed that I am getting more flexible!

    This pose stretches the adductor muscles of the groin, and the hamstring muscles. It is said to strengthen the spine and increases the blood flow to the pelvis.

    The steps are quite simple. Sit with your legs at a 90 degree angle. (See the top photo - from My Yoga Online). Inhale, sitting tall. Stretching out your spine. Exhale and lean over and walk your hand straight out. Hold the position for about one minute, remembering to breathe. When done, exhale and walk your hands back up.

    Some of the people in class are far more flexible than I am and can actually lean over so that their hands are on their feet and their chests lie pretty much flat on the floor in front of them. Their pose looks much like the second photo here (from Yoga Journal).

    Personally, I am somewhere in between. Someday I hope to be able to reach out flat but as I said the belly still gets in the way. The chest does too sometimes. I guess I need to figure out a way to work around those areas.

    14 March 2014

    Lancaster runs support variety of causes

    Running – or walking - is not only a great cardio activity but it can also be a great fundraiser for your event. Many organizations, both large and small, are holding 5K races. Tomorrow, for example, the Junior League of Lancaster will host the Run 4 Luck 5K. The annual race is held through the School Lane Hills neighborhood.

    Click HERE to read the full article as it appeared on Examiner.com today.

    12 March 2014

    Yoga today was relaxing, ready for Pilates

    Today's Yoga Pose - as put out there in the One Minute Yoga group at SparkPeople - is the Warrior II, or the Virabhadrasana II but we did that one a couple weeks ago, on 20 February. Since I went to a Yoga class today but not a Bodyflow (kind of a combination Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi) I thought I would instead feature a Pilates movement. It fell under swimming exercises but it still stretches!

    The Single Leg Stretch strengthens the abdomen, which is my big big (pun intended) problem.

    The photo at left (from Pilates.com) pretty much is self explanatory. Do with one leg and then switch to the other.

    Universal Athletic Club offers Mat Pilates as an included class and a few other more advanced classes for an small extra charge. Mat Pilates is a "core workout" and is advertised as gaining flexibility and strength.

    Tomorrow UAC offers a class at 5:30 p.m. so I may have to try it. Been wanting to take more Pilates and yoga classes.