Monday, July 30, 2012

Keeping it Predictable

Diabetes is weird annoying unpredictable what it is.

And I'm learning that it is happiest when life is predictable - even unpredictable predictability is ok.

Here's what I'm talking about.

Last year, when I was a runner who cycled on Sundays, I had several days a week where I did not do any exercise. Rest days they were called.

This year, I don't have very many rest days. I do something most days and, while I do take a day off, it's not even once a week.

Exercise has become the new predictability.

The type and timing of the exercise is anything but.

Sometimes I swim at 6am for an hour. Sometimes I swim at 7:45pm for an hour but it's less intense and more technical. I run in the mornings at 5:30am during the week, at 7:00am(ish) on Saturdays, and sometimes in the afternoon around 4:30pm. I cycle after work occasionally but I also cycle on Sunday mornings at 8am. When I'm feeling really ambitious, I do a brick workout which means that I cycle and then I run.

I have a system for each sport. Sometimes I lower my basal rate, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I increase my basal rate, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I eat before, sometimes I eat afterwards, sometimes I eat during. Sometimes I take my pump off, sometimes I put a raincoat on it. Sometimes starting a workout with a BG of 4.5 mmol/l (80 mg/dl) and a handful of raisins is ok, other times I prefer to be over 8.0 mmol/l (150 mg/dl) with 30 carbs in my system.

My systems don't always work but, more often than not, they're fairly effective. I rarely have lows during a workout anymore and I have a better handle on post-exercise lows and highs. But what I'm noticing more and more is that my body and my diabetes thrives on activity. I use less insulin, I have less highs and less lows...oh and I feel better too.

I think it has something to do with the fact that blood sugar can be affected for more than 24 hours after exercise. Keeping up a higher frequency of activity keeps me constantly in that 24-hour zone. Which makes it predictable and keeps me in better overall control.

Win win.


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