How much do you exercise? If you’re like me, you’re probably saying “Not as much as I need to.” Studies have shown that regular exercise can significantly lower our A1C and help keep glucose numbers in check. But how much exercise is enough? Well, everyone’s body responds differently to exercise, but I’ve found that 45 minutes or more of moderate or strenuous exercise burn carbs and keeps glucose levels low.
I’m not saying that you have to workout like you’re training for the Olympics but getting and keeping your heart rate up is the key. This can equate to a 5-mile walk at a brisk pace, swimming laps, riding a bike for a few miles, or lifting weights. Having a partner or a group of partners to exercise with is better as there are strength and motivation in numbers. It’s amazing how much more we’ll give if we have someone keeping us company or competing against us.
It’s important to pay close attention to your glucometer once you start exercising as I’ve learned the hard way what can happen when you take glucose-lowering meds and exercising heavily. One morning before work just as I completed my exercise routine, I began to sweat profusely. My t-shirt was absolutely soaked, with sweat dripping from my body like water. A strange feeling of lightheadedness crept over me, and unconsciousness felt just an eye blink away. Had I not grabbed a handful of Jolly Rancher candy from my boss’s desk, I would probably have ended up in the hospital.
In my opinion, diabetes can be controlled and possibly erased from the body through exercise and a regimented diet. But like everything else, exercise must be done in moderation and monitored for effectiveness as the results can be very effective, or in my case, too effective.