I love learning more about how to best work out and be healthy with diabetes. If you feel the same, then I have something for you today.
I just finished the Diabetes Training Program Level 1 and 2 from the Diabetes Motion Academy, and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to expand their knowledge of fitness and diabetes. It’s an online certification for personal trainers who want to learn more about diabetes, but I think any diabetic living an active lifestyle could benefit from taking it.
The Diabetes Motion Academy was founded by Sheri R. Colberg who is one of the pioneers in diabetes and fitness research (you may know her from her many books on fitness and diabetes) so it’s the real deal and an organization I want to promote here on Diabetes Strong.
Training 1 – Getting the basics down
Just given the fact that an estimated 29 million people in the US alone have diabetes (and an estimated additional 86 million have prediabetes), I think a course like this should be mandatory for all personal trainers. It might not make you an expert, but it will give personal trainers the knowledge and tools to support more diabetics that wish to start exercising but currently lack the proper support.
Today finding a personal trainer who knows anything about diabetes can be almost impossible unless you live in a major city, and even then, it’s difficult.
My guess is that you probably aren’t a personal trainer but I still think you would find a lot of valuable information in this course. Here on Diabetes Stron, I try to provide a lot of practical information about how to train, what to eat, and how to manage some of the situations we often run into as diabetics, but I am not a medical professional, so I try to stay away from the more theoretical and mechanical side of diabetes (like how hormonal changes can impact your diabetes management). If you are a diabetes geek like me and what to know everything about that stuff as well, this course is a great place to start.
Training 2 – Taking nutrition to the next level
What I was most thrilled about when completing level 2 was the focus on nutrition. As anybody who has been following me for a while knows, I believe that proper nutrition contributes at least 80% to successfully reaching your goals, both when it comes to fitness and diabetes management. The training also confirmed my belief in eating a balanced whole food diet rather than completely cutting certain macronutrients (typically carbs) out. Always nice to be validated in your beliefs 😀
Another thing I really enjoyed digging into a little further was strategies for preventing post-workout lows. I learned several new tricks that I can incorporate into my own life as well as for my online clients (not to mention all you folks reading the blog).
Should you buy the course?
Taking the training isn’t free. At this time, prices are listed at $150 per class (they will most likely have a discount for people with diabetes soon) so you, of course, need to consider if it’s worth the money.
If you are a personal trainer or work with people living with diabetes, my clear answer would be YES. Regardless if you are living with diabetes yourself or not, this course will give you the scientific foundation to work with your diabetic clients. Given that diabetes almost 10 percent of the US population has diabetes, is a segment that you can’t afford to ignore.
I don’t think a personal trainer should ever “take over” or get deeply involved in a client’s diabetes management, but you should be knowledgeable enough that you can train your clients safely and know what to do if anything goes wrong (you can learn what I think you should tell your personal trainer about diabetes here).
If you are not a personal trainer, the answer is a little less clear. I think there is a lot of good learnings in the training and you’ll definitely not walk away without any new knowledge. However, if money is an issue, you might get more out of reading one of Sheri’s other books, like the Diabetic Athletes Handbook and continue to follow my posts on how to successfully work out with diabetes.