When choosing a fitness instructor qualification you should be aware that though diabetes is a common enough ailment these days, fitness trainers with clients suffering from this ailment, need to pay special attention when monitoring their exercise intensity. During any type of exertion, since diabetes makes it difficult to monitor the client’s heart rate, it is recommended that the trainer uses RPE i.e. ratings of perceived exertion.
Diabetic clients can develop a condition of low blood sugar if put through lengthy exercises. During your level 3 personal trainer courses you will have learnt that such clients need a sugar blood test both before and after the exercise, along with RPE monitoring. This will help to keep a check on the client’s intensity levels.
Different types of diabetes
To deal with situations as above, as a personal trainer you have to learn more about diabetes. There are three different types.
Type 1 diabetes is a condition which normally affects young adults and children when their bodies do not produce insulin, a hormone which regulates blood sugar. To control this condition insulin injections are given and the patient needs to have a balanced, healthy diet.
Type 2 diabetes is a condition where the body produces insulin, but is unable to use it, resulting in high blood sugar. This is the most common form of diabetes.
Type 3 diabetes is known as gestational diabetes. This condition is found in pregnant mothers when their sugar levels rise above normal. Studies reveal that during pregnancy the hormones regulating the blood sugar get blocked by hormones which are produced during the gestational period, leading to diabetes.
Workouts for diabetic clients
As mentioned above when you work with a client suffering from diabetes you need to take the right precautions. Details of such precautions will be available in a business course for personal trainers.
Tracking blood sugar levels
The body produces insulin and glucagon hormones through the pancreas. This happens so that blood sugar levels stay regulated. During a meal the blood sugar level goes up, and insulin gets released in the blood stream.
When this happens, the blood sugar level gets lowered and reverts to its resting levels. When the stomach is empty or there is a low blood sugar condition, glucagon gets released, raising the blood sugar level to normal.
Precautions to be taken:
As a personal trainer you should guide your diabetic clients to take the following precautions:
- Be vigilant on fasting glucose levels.
- Monitor blood glucose before and after the exercise.
- To avoid hypoglycemia, consume carbohydrates.
- If insulin is required, avoid injecting it into muscles that will be used during the exercise.
- Avoid becoming dehydrated the client should drink enough water.
- During peak insulin activity, exercises should be avoided.
- A regular regime of exercises should be followed with regard to time and intensity.
- Wearing a medical identification tag and exercising with a partner is advised.
- Care should be taken with regard to footwear. Clean socks and the right shoes should be worn so that problems like blisters, sores, cuts etc. do not occur.
- If the exercises start to cause pain, immediately discontinue the same.
Every client is unique, so will require tailored attention. Stay alert and keep in mind the lessons learnt during your fitness trainer certifications. You should then have no problem in training diabetic clients.