Friday, May 14, 2010

Group Blog - Lets Get Moving - exercise

The day that I received my diagnosis of diabetes I was told to buy a pair of running shoes on my way home and start running five miles a day, every day.  The doctor had read about a pro football player who didn't need to take insulin during football season because of all of the exercise he got during practice.  He assured me that I probably would not lose my legs and sight if I followed this plan.

I didn't buy shoes that day.  I was more inclined to go home and tell my husband that I was just diagnosed with an incurable disease.

But, the next day I did buy shoes and started running.  Gary coaches track, so he knew how to get me started.  I eventually worked up to two miles every day.  I did that all four seasons, but I can't say I really enjoyed it.  I never seemed to achieve the proverbial (to me) runner's high.  After I had been running for a few years, I did run five miles with a few friends.  I was surprised that I didn't feel any more tired than after two miles.  I think it helped that I was running with two or three other people and we were talking and laughing for parts of it, so I was distracted from my tiredness and sweating.  I don't like the sweating part of running either.

Then I got pregnant and had complications that made me have to stop running until my son was born.

About a year later, after I has adjusted to life with a baby, I decided that I should probably start up again.  I ran about a mile before I remembered how much I did not enjoy this.  I stopped and walked home.

I have walked almost every day since then.  My son just turned 24.  Again all four seasons.  But I love my walk. I don't know how far I actually go, but it takes 30-45 minutes.  I look forward to it and it affects the goodness of my day.  I make a point to walk fast, because I know that walking is not aerobic.  I'm starting some stretches and exercises to strengthen muscles because I have to worry about osteoporosis.

As far as how it affects my diabetes, only time will tell, but I think it must help.  When I used my continuous monitor, I could see how it almost always brought my glucose levels down.  Even more than I would have guessed. It also has to be good for my heart and circulatory system in general.  Its definitely good for my mental health.

Since my transplant, I can still see how exercise affects my blood sugars.  As I mentioned in the previous post, I still eat at regular times and in controlled amounts.  I can tell when I have not had any exercise after a meal and when I have.  Its just a good thing to do and I am glad that I enjoy something that is important to my daily and long term health.

My walking companion.

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