Summer is a time of fun-filled activities. We all have a variety of interests to keep us busy in the summer months: cycling, camping, fishing, gardening, golf, hiking or walking, water activities and picnics.  This month we will discuss ways to navigate summer activities safely. Making a plan is key to caring for your health and having fun.  Next month we will cover  making a travel plan.

woman checking blood sugar_diabetes education

Step 1: Make a Plan

Make a plan for monitoring your blood sugar and treating high (hyperglycemia) or low blood sugar (hypoglycemia ). It is essential to carry supplies to treat these conditions. If you don’t know what you need to carry, talk to your doctor or diabetes educator.

Let’s review the things that raise and lower blood sugar levels.

High blood sugar is caused by

Low blood sugar is caused by


Step 2: Stay Cool

Take extra precautions for heat and humidity. People with diabetes may not tolerate heat well.

Try to perform outdoors work or exercise in the early morning or late evening when the temperature is cooler.  CDC suggests checking the heat index – a combination of temperature and humidity.  Take steps to stay cool when it reaches 80 degrees in the shade with 40% humidity or above. The heat index may be 15 degrees higher in full sunlight, so try to stay in the shade when possible.


Step 3: Make a Checklist

Refer to and follow the latest recommendations. The CDC suggests making a summer check-list.

white senior woman in black leggings with feet in sand, summer fun diabetic feet cdc checklist

Step 4: Watch your feet

Pay special attention to your feet

how to manage your Diabetes monitor, diet and healthy food eating nutritional concept with clean fruits and vegetables with diabetic measuring tool kitDiabetes_Education

Step 5: Watch What You Eat

Think about the food. Summer is a great time to gather with friends and family.  As the weather heats up, you may find yourself moving your meals outdoors.  If you end up hosting a backyard BBQ or get invited to a potluck, here are some things to keep in mind regarding food safety & several healthy recipes to try. 

Food safety

Stay out of the danger zone.  Bacteria can grow rapidly when food is not stored at the right temperature and can lead to illness.  Here are some guidelines to remember:

Never leave food out for more than 2 hours.  On very hot days, don’t leave food out for more than 1 hours. 

Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of all meat.  The safe minimum internal temperature needed to destroy harmful bacteria is:

If you have questions about safe food storage, handling, & preparation of meat, poultry, and egg products, call the USDA Meat & Poultry Hotline toll-free at 1-888-MPHHotline.

Healthy Eating

Try lightened up versions of your summer favorites.  Here are some of our favorite ideas:

Instead of a traditional hamburger, try using a lower saturated fat meat like chicken:

Or go meat free:

Instead of traditional potato salad, try this mayo free recipe that also includes a surprise vegetable, cauliflower:

Instead of traditional baked beans, try one of these fiber-packed bean salads with no added sugar:

If you’re looking for a non-starchy vegetable salad, try one of these ideas:

And if you want to end your meal with a refreshing sweet treat, try this berry dessert:

For more healthy summer recipe ideas, visit the American Diabetes Association’s recipe website: