Managing your Diabetes During the Summer

You are here

Publication Date: 

National Kidney Foundation of Michigan offers management tips for people with diabetes.

ANN ARBOR, MICH.—(July 1, 2016)—Summer has arrived in Michigan, which means families are packing up the car on the weekends, heading north, and spending time outside. Going on vacation brings excitement but you cannot forget the healthy eating habits and exercise routine you’ve established in your daily life, especially if you have diabetes or high blood pressure. Plan ahead how to fit this exercise and healthy eating into your travel plans because with a little effort, you can stay healthy while you’re on the road this summer. Here are some tips from the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan (NKFM) on how to eat healthy and stay active during summer vacations.

There are plenty of ways to stay active on your vacations. If you are going to spend time on the water, you can go swimming, kayaking or canoeing. You can also play beach volleyball, go for a bike ride or take a long walk. If you are staying in a hotel, check out the gym or swim in the hotel pool. Just make sure to keep active for at least 30 minutes each day on your vacation.

Making smart food choices, even while on vacation, is a key step to staying healthy, feeling better and, most importantly, managing and preventing diabetes. Diabetes is the leading cause of kidney failure, so by controlling it, many cases of kidney failure can be prevented or delayed. To help make healthy eating choices, pack a small cooler of healthy snacks, such as fresh fruit, sliced raw vegetables, and fat-free or low-fat yogurt. Bringing snacks like nuts or dried fruit will also help you avoid choosing to stop at a drive-through.  Also, bring bottled water with you instead of pop or juice.

Packing properly is also an important factor when managing diabetes and going on vacation. Make sure you bring twice the amount of diabetes medicine and supplies that you would normally need. It is better to be safe than sorry. Packing snacks, glucose gel, or tablets with you is important just in case your blood sugar gets too low. Also, don’t leave your medicine in the trunk, glove box or near a window because they may overheat. Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit and make sure you keep your health insurance card and emergency phone number handy.

Summer vacations are a time to enjoy family, friends and life. It’s also a great time to refocus on feeling better, eating healthy foods and controlling your diabetes. For more information on managing and preventing diabetes, or on kidney disease and kidney failure, contact the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan at 800-482-1455 or visit