Welcome to Diabetes Blog Week! Diabetes Blog Week is just like it sounds… diabetes bloggers all blogging on daily topics for an entire week. Or, in this year’s case, for five days. To find out all about Diabetes Blog Week and to sign up,
As always, thank you to Karen Graffeo, creator and curator of Diabetes Blog Week. It’s been another fantastic week of finding new blogs and getting my own writing mojo back. And it wouldn’t have happened without Karen’s wonderful idea seven years ago.
On our final day of #dBlogWeek, I’m throwing down the wild card… The Let’s Get Physical Wild Card.
Managing diabetes during exercise can be tricky, so share what works for you or your loved one with diabetes and maybe it can help someone else. What to do when you want to work out, but your blood sugar is lower or higher than you want? How do you cope with this? Or how do you manage gym days at school for your child with diabetes? How do you stay motivated to work out? Or how do you encourage your loved on with diabetes to get active? What is your favorite kind of exercise – conventional or non-conventional? (Let’s see how many types of exercise we can find!
Let’s start with that last thing– my favorite kind of exercise. Honestly, I would really love it if I could still be playing baseball. That would be fantastic. I would really like to still be playing slow-pitch softball too. But… not gonna happen. I can’t find a team I can join locally, for either of those.
But I can still participate in (probably) my second favorite activity: riding my bike.
Unfortunately, there haven’t been any sunny days like the one in the photo above available for me to actually ride my bike this spring. Not even one that fit into my schedule where I can get up and go. In fact, because of my knee surgery (and slow recovery) last year, and all the rain we’ve had here in Baltimore this year, I’ve had to rely on my trusty backup:
Hey, it still allows me to get the workout in until the rain lets up. Now, how do I deal with the workout with diabetes along for the ride? I have to remember a few things:
For starters, I have to check my glucose first. I don’t have an absolute number I must be at before I start my ride. It’s really based on how long it’s been since I’ve eaten, what I had to eat, and how long I plan to ride. In the interest of not dragging this post on forever, I’d say I’m looking for a number north of 150 mg/dL (8.3 mmol/L– is that the right non-US number?).
Then, I need to make sure all of my shtuff is close by. You know… meter, juice, glucose tabs if I have them, if not, candy or fruit. Also, and this is crucial: I dial down the insulin delivery on my pump through a temporary basal setting. Depending on my current BG level, anywhere from 25 percent to 50 percent of normal. Effing diabetes.
Of course, there are the non-diabetes things: water, towel, and my phone. The phone? I need it for the Pandora music streaming during the ride. I like 70s music. Almost all of it, but no Osmonds or Bay City Rollers or weak shtuff like that. Sometimes I’ll go for British Invasion music, or Motown.
Now I’m ready to take off. I don’t wear a CGM right now, so I have to be really cognizant of my focus during the workout, especially my cadence. If my pedal cadence won’t stay steady, then I know it’s probably time to check the BGs again. That’s my sign. I’m not one of the gifted PWD athletes out there who can check while riding, so I stop what I’m doing and check. No use wrecking the entire workout if I can resolve things quickly.
If I’m low, I’ll stop my pump completely, or disconnect from my site entirely. I’m going to take a shower after anyway. So I’ll sit and treat the low and check again. If it looks like I’m okay, I’ll start up again. Sometimes, after a low, if I start again, I might not go as long with the workout as I had intended. Effing diabetes.
But here’s the thing: Even if I have to cut it short, I’m still working out. I’m still doing something that makes me happy, even if it’s just for fifteen minutes or so.
I don’t care anymore about how slow I may go, or how long it takes me to reach my goal, or whether I experience bumps along the way, diabetes- or non-diabetes-related. For me, being able to work out is a gift, and I intend to use that gift as much as I can, as long as I can.
Kind of like sex. Which, if I’m being honest, really qualifies as my favorite workout, in case you were wondering. And if you were wondering about that, you should probably be working out right now!
How do you deal with diabetes and getting your workout on?
Find out how others do it by checking out the posts linked HERE.