Exercise class run by instructor with type 1 diabetes host Zumba marathon event in aid of diabetes research.
A two-hour dancing session was held on Hayling Island recently to raise diabetes awareness in support of DRWF.
The “Zumbathon” – based on the Colombian dance and exercise programme to energetic music – was organised by DRWF supporter and Zumba instructor Clare Gosling, who has type 1 diabetes at Hayling Island Community Centre.
More than 65 people, many wearing face paint, took part in the event led by four instructors and raised more than £1,000. However, thanks to Gift Aid and match funding of donations through The Big Give, the grand total raised was £2,324.25
Clare Gosling with DRWF Community Fundraiser Karen Scott
Clare Gosling said: “When I was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, exercise was the furthest thing from my mind. I was on multiple daily injections. I discovered Zumba in 2011, two years after my diabetes diagnosis, and after the birth of my third child. I instantly fell in love with it! I went to classes at least once a week. I remember having my first hypo (hypoglycaemic episode, or low blood sugar levels) in class – and it was not pleasant. But I made sure I always had some sweets with me when I went to exercise classes. I would always check my sugars before and after sessions. I also discovered another lady in class had type 1 diabetes and we shared experiences and stories, which helped a lot.
“I started using an insulin pump in 2014 when I was living in America. A couple of months later I became a Zumba instructor. I didn’t teach any classes for around two years. However, I had found a gym I loved and was doing between 3-6 Zumba classes a week as a participant. It took me a long time to learn how to manage my pump and exercise. Even now, it is still a learning process. One of my Zumba instructors in the States also had type 1 diabetes. Again, we became firm friends, and regularly shared stories, hints and tips about managing diabetes and exercise.
“I have been teaching Zumba for about 16 months. I love it. I teach between 5-7 classes a week. Managing my diabetes and exercise is still a learning exercise in itself! Some of the best hints and tips I can give to people with diabetes wishing to take up more exercise are:
- Test, test and test your blood sugars. This is so important as exercise can do all kinds of funny things, even 12-24 hours after exercise.
- Always have a hypo treatment with you, you never know when you will need it.
- Sometimes exercise can make your insulin more efficient, this is certainly my case.
- Testing is your friend!
- Keep track of your sugars, and the exercise you do. Look for patterns, this can help prevent future hypo/hyper events.
- Look at your diet. I choose to eat a fairly low carb / high fat diet. I typically have between 30-90 grams of carbohydrates a day, depending on what I am doing. This has helped a lot in keeping my sugars stable. I don’t have as many spikes in my blood sugar levels as I used to.
“Remember, I am not healthcare professional! I am just sharing what works for me. Exercise is so important. I know I always feel better after a Zumba class, even if I have had to give myself a massive kick up the backside to get there. And I am the instructor!”