My Big Blue November

In an effort to participate in Diabetes Awareness Month more than I ever have before, I’ve made a commitment to myself that I will be joining the Big Blue Test movement! As the month begins, I’m truly setting forth with great intentions and a willingness to hold myself accountable. It is my goal to participate at least once a day throughout the month of November and I am looking forward to having a challenge I can use to get me motivated to move my body more.

What is the Big Blue Test, you ask? GREAT QUESTION!

The Big Blue Test is an initiative set forth by the incredible people at the Diabetes Hands Foundation in an effort to help others experience the impact that small changes can have on their health. Did you know that, on average, a person’s blood glucose can lower by 20% after only 14-20 minutes of exercise? Me neither! That’s a pretty neat fact to have in your back pocket as a motivator to put forth an effort to exercise.

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There are only a few steps to follow:

  1. If you have diabetes, test your blood sugar (and if you don’t, no testing required!)
  2. Exercise for AT LEAST 14-20 minutes
  3. Test your blood sugar after you’re done (and again, no testing needed if you don’t have diabetes)
  4. Share your experience on BigBlueTest.org or through the app for iPhones or Androids

Simple as that!

For so many of us, the idea of “working out”, especially at a gym or health club, can be really intimidating! What is important is to remember is that there are MANY ways to get your physical activity in. Your daily exercise routine does not have to be complicated. It can be as simple as walking your dog or playing at the park with your children. Remember when we were kids and we’d go outside until the street lights turned on and our moms yelled for us to come home for dinner? We’d run around, ride our bikes, climb trees and play on top of rocks. Then one day something shifts and suddenly we think we must fit planned workout routines into our busy, adult schedules. This is an overwhelming feeling for some and not everyone has the internal tools or self-discipline to live their life that way. Let us all try to remember that any exercise is good exercise, and as the Big Blue Test points out, even tiny, seemingly small changes can have a real and immediate impact on our health and wellness.

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As if promoting health and wellness wasn’t good enough, for every Big Blue Test that gets logged between October 14th and November 14th, 2016, the DHF grants $3 in support of people with diabetes in need around the world. This year, they are supporting the DiabetesSisters, We Are Diabetes, and the Riverside Community Diabetes Collaborative. Each organization will receive $5,000 ($1 from each test towards each US-based initiative) and in order to accomplish these donation goals, 150,000 Big Blue Test entries will be needed! Currently (as I type this), the count is at 127,723 entries. I am confident that the people of the diabetes community, in conjunction with the people who support and love us, can not only reach this goal, but I believe we have what it takes to surpass it. If only we can convince others to #JoinTheMovement!

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I love that this is a diabetes-centered movement but that our T3 (someone without diabetes who loves or supports someone who DOES have diabetes) friends can get involved as well. Remembering to love ourselves and our bodies is so important, and implementing even the most minuscule of changes puts you on a path to a better life. The Diabetes Hands Foundation even offers ideas on how to organize a Big Blue Test event and get others involved at your school or workplace. Healthy initiatives and programs can benefit us all, and the Big Blue Test could be something to get the ball rolling within your own community – all while helping to raise money for worthy causes! “When you sweat, they benefit!” as the website says.

So please, consider taking part in the Big Blue Test movement. It only takes a few moments to log your results, and remember, for every entry you submit, you are helping to raise $3 for the wonderful organizations I mentioned earlier. You’re also helping to support the Diabetes Hands Foundation! The DHF does incredible things to support and bring people together whose lives have been touched by diabetes. Their mission (find out more about the DHF here) is to make sure that no one living with this condition ever has to feel alone and I think they’re doing a really great job at making that happen. Between the Big Blue Test initiative and the online communities (tudiabetes.org and estudiabetes.org), as well as their Diabetes Advocates program (diabetesadvocates.org), this is a group of people working hard towards strengthen the connections those of us in the diabetes world need so very much. Bravo, DHF! Thank you for your efforts!

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