The Animas Sports & Exercise Weekend 2015 (ASW2015) is now the 5th annual event held by Animas took place in May 2015 at Loughborough University.
“Being new to diabetes (diagnosed in December 2012) and new to sport (I started exercising in January 2014). I heard about the Animas Sports and Exercise Weekend on the Facebook site ‘sporty diabetic type 1’s’. A few people had registered for the weekend and mentioned it on this site. The previous ASW attendees said how good the weekend was. I knew I had to go. I signed up and sent in my registration form and cheque in November 2014 and received confirmation within 6 days!
DAY 1 - Friday
When the day arrived I was nervous but very excited.
Walking into the room was a weird feeling….weird knowing that all these people had the same disease as me.
It was a very friendly warm atmosphere and there was some nice chat time before a ‘pre-exercise’ lecture by Dr Gallen, followed by dinner at the Burleigh Court restaurant, Loughborough University.
DAY 2 – Saturday
We were up bright and early at 7am. The day began with the first talk ‘Pumps and CGM for sports and exercise’ by Dr Alistair Lumb. I found this a little difficult to follow as I didn’t understand the pump terminology! I’m currently on multiple daily injections (MDI’s). The day was then followed by a refresher talk given by Dr Ian Gallen on the different types of exercise and what effects it has on blood sugar levels before we moved on to the exercise sessions.
The exercise sessions….. I was in group D so I had running as the first exercise. You could choose the group to run along with according to your ability. My group ran approximately 5 miles around the university ground at a pace which was about a 10 minute mile. I run quite a lot so found this a lovely run. We had our blood sugars tested before the run, mid run and after the run and had these recorded by the HCP accompanying our group.
Next was the spinning session which I had never done before. I absolutely loved it and I worked so hard I was a big sweat ball! There were lots of Animas staff and HCPs on hand to log blood glucose readings and if a hypo was on its way dextrose tablets were available, the team provided a very safe and controlled environment.
It was then time for a much needed lunch. Lunch was healthy and light although I did have a huge fruit salad with lashings of double cream. A useful tip that I learnt from ‘Candice Wards talk on nutrition’, is that if you mix fat with sugar it doesn’t make you spike. Next was the circuit session. This was so much fun with all 4 groups coming together. Again I loved this session - it was really interactive and we covered a number of different gym/sports work outs. We then had a group work shop followed with feedback to the main group during the group discussion. This was followed by some free time and then dinner.
Dinner with Mr Roddy Riddle – Animas Hero
I didn’t know who he was before ASW 2015, I had sponsored him as a fellow type 1, but I didn’t do the homework on him. He spoke about his enjoyable yet challenging experiences whilst participating in the Marathon Des Sables. His speech was inspirational, emotional and funny. I take my hat off to him.
DAY 3 - Sunday
Our final day, we had breakfast and covered reflections from yesterday followed by Q&A’s with Dr Gallen then a game of team rounder’s finishing with lunch. After lunch everyone said their farewells and headed off home. I met a lot of inspirational people this weekend and it has definitely given me the drive to strive for more. I learnt so much on this weekend, just some bits that really stuck with me were the different affects aerobic and anaerobic exercises have on your blood glucose levels . By knowing this I am able to better manage my diabetes when doing different sports activities.
I was overwhelmed and chuffed to bits to win the Animas Sports & Exercise Weekend ‘Just Do It’ award. This was awarded to me for my commitment, attitude and team spirit during the weekend.
I had only been running for just over a year when I attended the ASW2015. ASW2015 has given me the confidence to push myself further. I have bought myself a road bike and have entered my very first mini triathlon. I’ve also signed up for another two marathons both of which I am running for JDRF, hopefully raising lots of money for a charity very close to my heart.
These are the views of the author and not necessarily those of Animas UK & Ireland. None of the learnings described in this article are meant as clinical advice or recommendations they are the authors’ interpretation of the taught theory only. Anyone living with Type 1 diabetes reading this should always seek medical advice from their healthcare team before attempting change in their diabetes management and medication. Animas UK & Ireland are not responsible for the content of the authors’ blog, Twitter or any social media accounts.
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