Hyderabad, August 21, 2023………Whether you’re running like the hare or the tortoise, we’re all runners. Runners are out there doing their thing, regardless of how long it takes. Runners come in all paces – some are fast, some in-between, and some of us are time-rich. We all have our own way of covering the distance, but we are all heading out. As runners, we have a great deal of admiration and respect for each other. We lift each other up.
In February 2007, at the young age of 30, Lakshminarasimhan Sampath (Nars) was first diagnosed with diabetes on his birthday. Definitely not the kind of present one would expect. For him, fitness meant aging gracefully and being as independent as one can progress into the second half of the chess board. Nars, a Senior Vice-President of Statestreet, living currently in Singapore, remembers his first attempt at running 250 meters at Srinagar Colony, where he felt like he ran miles. What started more as a lifestyle reversal effort to manage diabetes, soon became his passion, and has now run all World Marathon Majors twice. When asked how he did it, he said, “Gamify it in small steps.” Since his first diagnosis, Nars has run countless marathons and returns to Hyderabad every year to run the Hyderabad Marathon.
After being on medication for over 15 years, at the point of being on the highest dosage of prescription oral medication, running became his cure. Running is a good exercise for lowering blood sugar levels, say endocrinologists, and Nars, he was able to reverse diabetes after being on medication for over 15 years.
Running not only helps folks with Type II diabetes but also youngsters with Type I. Divya Akula, a 27-year-old runner, was first diagnosed in 2002 when she was just 6 years old. She started running in October 2022 and is now training for her maiden marathon in this edition of the Hyderabad Marathon. Running has helped her feel positive, confident, and more assertive. She confesses that she is more active throughout the day, and has more energy to work and complete all her activities without breaking a sweat. Divya is on insulin and tracks her blood glucose using a Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM). When on a run, she always carries glucose bolts and an insulin pen. She is confident that these obstacles can’t stop her from pursuing her goals.
Recent advances in glucose monitoring technologies enabled these runners to be on CGM which has helped transform their relationship with running with diabetes, giving the confidence boost any athlete would need.
While there are advantages of running to manage diabetes, one must ensure they take good care and seek their healthcare provider’s advice.
One can rediscover their life beyond numbers by making minor changes to their everyday activities and adopting an active lifestyle. It’s lovely to hear how much running has aided runners in controlling both the physical and psychological effects of their illnesses.
Whether you are insulin-dependent or not, diabetes does not have to be a deterrent and hold you back. It is also about learning how to delay the inevitable for those who are genetically predisposed. You can figure out how to balance the insulin your body no longer makes with the carbohydrates you consume. You learn the potential adverse effects of drinking soda and how to manage this condition.
Through these stories, we learn that we need to make ourselves a priority. We have the power to make our own choices about our health and happiness. All we have to do is take the first step.