Category Archives: Exercise

Diabetes Strong is here… and so is your opportunity to start the new year fit.

Have you heard of The Fit Blog? Not anymore you haven’t… because The Fit Blog is now known as Diabetes Strong.

Christel Oerum and her husband Tobias have revamped their previous website devoted to healthy eating and meaningful exercise, to create an online resource for People With all types of Diabetes, sharing information, tips, and even coaching to help PWDs live happier, more active lives. They even provide a platform for inspirational stories, like the one from Sweet Zoo‘s Jennifer Christensen, talking about her first half marathon back in October.

And now, you have the opportunity to join the Diabetes Strong nation and get your New Year off to a tremendous start by participating in the Fit With Diabetes Challenge.

Image courtesy of Diabetes Strong

Starting January 3, it’s a four week fitness program where Christel and some of the smartest people in nutrition, exercise, weight management, and more will help you kick off 2018 the finest way possible. And the best part? It’s totally free!

Want more? How about giveaways that include gifts from Challenge sponsors mySugr, One Drop, and Myabetic. Win, win, and win.
There are five things that participants in the Fit With Diabetes Challenge will take part in:

1. Daily activities or “challenges” that take you through everything you need to do in a step-by-step fashion

2. Articles covering the most important topics on diabetes and weight management

3. Weekly meal plans

4. Workout programs that you can do during the challenge (home and gym workouts)

5. A Facebook support group for challenge participants in which you can ask questions, share your experiences and connect with other people who want to be Fit With Diabetes
The challenge is open to all fitness levels (or non-fitness levels)… and again, it’s totally free!

Here’s what I want you to do:

1. Visit the new Diabetes Strong. You will love it.

2. Sign up for the Fit With Diabetes Challenge.
Start the new year off the best way possible… with the Fit With Diabetes Challenge, beginning January 3 at Diabetes Strong!


I don’t have to tell you, but…

I don’t have to tell you, but for the purposes of starting this blog post:

Getting older is hard.

I’ve been training since mid-May for my local 5k, the one I run nearly every year. Nearly every year, I start training in May, so when the race comes in mid-July, I’m ready to go 3 point some-odd miles without stopping.

I’ll admit, I hate to run. Hate it. I’m not very fast, though I’m not slow, and more than any other activity, running pushes my heart rate up. Usually, into the 190-200 beats per minute range, no matter how slow I go. Training allows me to keep it between 180 and 190 on race day, but that’s about as good as I can do.

The thing is… I like the race itself. Once the horn sounds and we’ve all started, it feels more like a party at 180 to 190 beats per minute. Plus, this event is close, about five minutes away from my house. And the truth is, there are far fewer activities (read also: competitions) I can get into at my age.

Okay, I know I’m not that old, but training this year has made me feel old for really, the very first time. I’m now at the point where I don’t know if I can run a sub-ten-minute mile anymore. I’ve been trying, but I’m not there yet. It’s hard to describe… but when I run now, I seem to reach a point where I just can’t seem to move my legs any faster than they’re already going.

Put another way, my top end speed is definitely slower than my top end speed has ever been. Even when I really push myself.

The good news is that my blood sugars don’t care. Rare is the occasion where I’m above 200 mg/dL these days, although I did have one terrible excursion in the over-300 range after a four mile run last weekend. Definitely hydration related. Once I got a correction bolus in, and about 40 ounces of water, I was back down around 100 mg/dL. So fortunately, I was only up there for around two hours.

The race is in a week and a half. After that, I’ll go back to training on the bike, though sadly, there are no bike rides to train for at this point. But I plan to run this race again next year, and do bike rides too, for a few years more, if I can still muster the energy.

For now, all I can do is look forward. There is still some hard training to do, but each run completed means one less run to do before the race. And I think that’s the point for me: concentrate on the next workout, the next event. Don’t worry about how much effort is involved, or how much more difficult it is now compared to 15 years ago.

The weird thing is, I feel weaker, more vulnerable than ever, at a time when I’m doing things that will actually help me stay active longer and hopefully, help me live longer. Like diabetes, concentrating on the good rather than the difficult will help me power through and achieve more than if I stick my head in the sand. A week and a half to go!

Editor’s note: I’ll be taking the rest of the week off (from running and writing) to volunteer at the DPAC booth in the exhibit hall at Friends for Life in Orlando, Florida. If you’re at Friends for Life, stop by and say hello!

With a little help from our friends.


How did I get into this? Why did I get into this?

Because I’m a sucker for a good idea and D-Athletes, and I want to support my friends.

Many of you know Victoria Cumbow, who, among other things, is a passionate diabetes blogger and a dedicated bike rider. She’s participated in two JDRF rides in the past two years (hope I got that right), including one in Death Valley. And this year, she’s participating in two more: the Lake Tahoe ride, and her hometown ride in Nashville.

May is National Bike Month, and Nashville has jumped on the bandwagon to designate this Nashville Bike Month too. To kick start both her fitness goals and her fundraising efforts, Victoria has decided to complete a challenge of biking all 31 days in May.

She’s taking photos of her rides this month, and using the hashtag #inthesaddle to share her experiences. She also asked a very pointed question: Who’s with me?

I don’t think there’s any freakin’ way I can bike all 31 days this month. In fact, I know I can’t, partly because of restrictions and admission days for my clinical trial. Also because I missed biking on day 1. If you miss the month-long challenge on day 1, you can’t really make it up.

But I did decide to go halfsies: To support Victoria, I’ll be biking at least 16 days in May. So far, I’ve been #inthesaddle four out of eight days this month. Some days will be on my bike, some days will be on one of the spin bikes at the gym. And one day will be at the Chesapeake Bay Tour de Cure, which is less than ten days away. Shameless plug: You can still support my ride by clicking on the donate button to the left. Thank you.

So far, the challenge has been good for me, helping me to focus on what’s really important (people), how much I like riding a bicycle after all these years, and helping me get into better shape for my big ride a week from Saturday.

Look for the #inthesaddle hashtag. And if you’re on your bike during this month, maybe you can take a photo and post it too. If you want to support Victoria’s JDRF rides this year (she’s raising $6,000 for research toward a cure!), click here to support the Tahoe ride, and click here to support the Nashville ride.

And pray that my legs hold out for 12 more days #inthesaddle this month.


Last week I was extremely disappointed about missing out on a long-awaited ride on my bike. Saturday, I was finally, thankfully, able to get out and ride for a while.

The sun warmed up everything nicely, and it was about 70 degrees when I set out. I got a semi-late start, owing to the fact that I had to double-check my bike again (it was the first time I’d climbed aboard in six months), and the fact that I wanted to be sure I’d be okay diabetes-wise.

So I stuffed a salty/sweet nut bar in my bag, and I made sure I had a full bottle of water with just a bit of Gatorade. The BG check prior to the ride showed 185 mg/dL. When doing something like this, a number like 185 is not a concern at all. In fact, it’s a good sign. I had no insulin on board. I set a temporary basal on my pump of 15 percent. That’s right, just 15 percent.

Actually getting to ride for an hour was huge for me, as it always is the first time I’m out. That’s because of many things. It feels good, of course. I’ve always been the kind of guy that enjoys the feeling of freedom you get from riding a two-wheeler (I felt the same when I rode a motorcycle). And the difference in training on the road versus being in the gym is pretty big too. You’re stressing your muscles in ways, particularly uphill, that can’t be replicated on a spin bike, even in a tough class. I climbed three short but difficult hills, with three corresponding steep downhills (which have scared me ever since a bad bike crash three years ago). I moved deftly around traffic when necessary, and managed to avoid some nasty potholes that exist now thanks to our recent difficult winter.

I think I covered 14 or 15 miles, and wound up with a finishing BG of 89 mg/dL. Having a nearly 100 point drop in an hour tells me, if I’ve been reading correctly, that I was exercising in the aerobic range for most or all of that hour. If my number was higher, it would be a good indication that I would have been in the anaerobic range for a while. Or that I was dehydrated. Or both.

Regardless of where I was and how hard I was exercising, I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that I got this in. My 62 mile/100 km ride happens in four weeks. I need to be on my bike as often as possible, and at the gym when it’s not possible, over the next three weeks. The good news is I’m making progress. The bad news is I’ve got a long way to go.

Keep on truckin’.

Piggybacking on last Friday’s post, I was happily able to tweet this on Saturday evening:


Pretty encouraging, right? But that tweet hides a lot. To be honest, completing that workout was extremely difficult. Man, I’m out of shape.

This was my first real workout in a long time. There are a number of reasons for that. To begin with, my schedule at work changed in the fall. After 15-plus years, I’m now required to be there half an hour extra every day. I decided to add that extra half hour at the beginning of my workday. And since my workouts during the week were always in the morning before work, I wasn’t able to do that anymore. Also, to be honest, after my final long bike ride last year, I didn’t have the same motivation to get to the gym that I had earlier in the year. Add in participation in a clinical trial and a couple of other things that came up, and it meant I wasn’t getting to the gym on the weekends either. In fact, I hadn’t been to the gym since early November.

So I’ve started my training, but it’ll be slow going for a while. On the bright side, I’ve seen a noticeable difference in my glucose after just working out Saturday and Sunday. Really good differences, which I definitely need, because those numbers have been creeping up a bit for the last month or so. For the first time in a long time, I’m worried about disappointing my endocrinologist when I go in for my appointment Thursday. That’s how I look at it too. She works hard and has done a great job with my care for a while now, so if I’m less than stellar with my A1c, I’ll feel a bit like I let her down. Oh well… one concern at a time.

The one thing I’ll try to remember through all of this is to keep on trying. Never give up. Yesterday is yesterday. Just a reference point. I can’t do everything, but I can try to do everything I can to make things better in the future. I hope you look at your diabetes the same way.

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