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Is Physical Activity Required?

Discussion in 'Parents of Children with Type 1' started by wesphily, Mar 29, 2015.

  1. wesphily

    wesphily New Member

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    House Dynamic: My fiancée and I own a house. Her mother and 3 other daughters moved in with us. The 11 year old has type 1 diabetes. The other two daughters are 5 and 13.

    What can happen if the 11 year old refuses to participate in physical activity? Does exercise reduce her dependency on all the shots? Will it increase the life of her organs? Will something bad happen if she doesn't exercise or do physical activity?

    Her mom insists that she must do physical things so I've been supportive of that. However, if that is not the case then I'd like to know. My goal is to slowly prepare her (over many years) for when she is on her own and needs to be mindful of things like exercise.
     
  2. Beach bum

    Beach bum Approved members

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    Physical activity is important for everyone diabetes or no diabetes. The only bad thing that will happen if she doesn't exercise is that she will be woefully out of shape and not able to keep up with her peers and it will lead to a lifetime of inactivity. Sedentary lifestyle leeds to obesity, heart disease and even cancer. Excercise will not reduce the need for insulin. She needs insulin to live because her pancreas doesn't make it anymore. Exercise will definitely impact blood sugars, possibly reducing the amount she needs on a particular day, but not all the time.

    Just don't MAKE the kid exercise to keep her insulin needs down. HAVE her exercise to promote a healthy lifestyle. Encourage her to do it with all of you (meaning everyone in the house) is important to plant the seed that exercise can be fun and good for you. Making her do it because of diabetes is a recipe for disaster.
     
  3. Mish

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    Step 1) Learn about type 1 diabetes. Your fiancee's daughter will always need insulin. Always.
    Step 2) Listen to your fiancee about the best way to care for her child.
    Step 3) Start at step 1 and repeat.
     
  4. Lisa - Aidan's mom

    Lisa - Aidan's mom Approved members

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    My 12 year old non-D son isn't sports; he's thin and eats healthy. He will happily go on a walk around the neighbor or bike ride with me though. The activity doesn't have to be super intense, any kind of movement is good for anyone.
    Different activities effect my DS with diabetes; basketball and soccer drops him low but the adrenaline rush from being at bat for baseball raises his numbers crazy high.
    Good luck, hope you can encourage her to get involved with something.
     
  5. Beach bum

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    To add, excercise doesn't have to be intense, nor does it need to be a sport. My kids don't play sports, they dance. They also ride bikes, hike, go for walks around the neighborhood with me. The biggest thing is to get out and get moving in a way that will interest them. As I said before, exercise for kids isn't meant to be unpleasant, it's meant to be fun.
     
  6. wilf

    wilf Approved members

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    Exercise is good but not essential for people with Type 1 D.

    That having been said, children will generally be healthier if they are getting regular exercise - and this is especially true for Type 1 children.
     
  7. Christopher

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    To the OP, if your fiancée is insisting that her daughter do physical things solely because she has Type 1 diabetes, then I would not agree that she knows the best way to care for that child. Your fiancée may need some education on how to manage Type 1 diabetes. Maybe her daughter was recently diagnosed and your fiancée is still learning. I don't know. What I do know is that simply having Type 1 diabetes does not mean you HAVE to exercise. As others have said, exercise is good for everyone, diabetes or not.

    It sounds like you have your hands (and house) full with your new family. Good Luck!!
     
  8. nebby3

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    I agree with what others have said. I wanted to add in answer to yor questions that no, exercise will not decrease her dependency in shots. When you have type 1, you need to take insulin daily either through shots or an insulin pump. There is no guaramtee that exercise will help with long term effects on her organs either. Being fit is always good but there are so many variables that affect blood sugar and the likelihood of conplications that it is just not that simple. If I may be honest, it sounds like neither you nor your fiancée knows a lot about D yet. It is wonderful you are interested and concerned. Please use that to learn all you can and try to work with your fiancée. Battles within the family about D will not help but more information is always good.
     
  9. Mish

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    Not-even-step-father has no right to tell the mother she's not caring for her child properly. That's first and foremost. Regardless of what we all feel about exercise, or what he feels, it's really not his business to do something contrary to the child's mother.

    Second, my reading was that mom wants the child to do exercise and the not-even-step-father thinks the kid is too snowflakey to do physical activity. (kind of like that family who didn't let her kid carry his own guitar case because he had diabetes). When he added, "My goal is to slowly prepare her (over many years) for when she is on her own and needs to be mindful of things like exercise." it makes me think not-even-step-father thinks she shouldn't be doing exercise.

    Either way, my point was that they need to get on the same page.

     
  10. Christopher

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    Except if she actually is not caring for her child properly. It is hard for any of us to really know what is going on in the house based on the limited information we have. It is mostly assumptions. But this is going to be the OP's daughter and he is going to have just as much say in her care as her mother. So in my humble opinion, he does have every right to tell the mother (in an appropriate, constructive, helpful way), if he feels she is not caring for the daughter properly. It is absolutely his business.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015
  11. BarbDwyer

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    Actually it reads to me like the T1D is his fiancee's sister, not daughter. I would take about 110 steps back if I were the OP.

    If you want to be helpful organize a fun family afternoon with your fiancee that includes some kind of physical activity (walking counts) and invite them all along. The end.
     
  12. Mish

    Mish Approved members

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    oh, you're right. It could also be that too.

    In the end, it's not really the OPs business. It's not his child. And he or she hasn't really given us enough information to give any sort of advice except to talk to the child's mother.
     
  13. Mish

    Mish Approved members

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    Yeah, good luck with that. That isn't how it usually works.
     
  14. Christopher

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    For me, since they are living in his house, it does make it his business. And if in fact it is his step-child then she is his child and it definitely is his business.


    It will be interesting to see if there are any step-parents on the forum and how they feel about your comments.

    I agree that Barb could be right. Maybe the "daughter" is actually the sister. It would be nice if the OP comes back and clarifies that but whatever.
     
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2015
  15. nanhsot

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    That's how I read it also, fiancee's mom and the mom's other daughters. Not the fiancee's daughters.

    Be supportive and educated, but stand back and don't intrude. Know what helps and what hurts, be a sounding board and a support system but don't get in the middle.

    Physical exercise is good for everyone, but it is not "required" to manage diabetes. It helps just like it does with anyone else, keeping the body healthy and active is never a bad thing. When high physical activity can help burn off the sugars, but insulin will be needed no matter what, it doesn't make you any less diabetic or any less dependent on insulin.

    Good luck!
     

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