Anxiety about doing a class around others

Hey gang,

I have been increasing my exercise routines the past few months. I do most of it at home with Yoga DVD's and work outs that an exercise physiologist put me on. I am looking to start doing yoga and exercise classes but I admit I have concerns over having to stop in the middle of classes to check my sugars and treat lows. I guess I do not want to be judged by others in the class who do not have to stop. Exercise is more likely to lower my blood sugars and at times dramatically which I am working on and that has improved. I guess this is more of a social question but interested if anyone else has experienced this or have thoughts. Thank you.


Going on "exercise is more than likely to lower my blood sugars" - I'd like to reference you to some early preliminary work i'm doing that you can see on this post - , obviously just hunt out my single post on the page.

Secondly, no one and nothing will ever interfere with my health. Besides, I get asked if I have cancer.

Stay confident. Stay healthy.

Experienced it and honestly no longer care what others think. I have observed a couple things in classes: people "stop" for a variety of reasons - do what you need to do - no one should be judging - you're all out there "doing" and should be commended for it; having to stop and then having someone ask you about what you're doing become a great opportunity to educate others about diabetes - something the media normally fails to do well; you're benefitting from the exercise and you may find other diabetics out there as well - it's always great to be with other diabetics when someone's pump alarms (and everyone checks to see if it was theirs) - there is a community of folks who live with this disease and who live active, healthy lives - testing BGs just happens to be part of our "living".

I guess you're just asking for support, so I'll just chime in with more of the same.
I agree with what's been said. Go. Do. Take it as an opportunity to educate if it comes up, but don't take it personal if some people want to remain ignorant.
Try imagining being in a class with someone who has some other condition, Think about how you would treat them, and expect to be treated that way. The overwhelming majority of people out there will be fine with you doing whatever you need to do.

I have been participating in a water aerobics class regularly (twice a week) now, and at first felt some of the anxiety you mention re standing out when I stop to test. The class is really intense, and I had a brush with a low bg that scared me pretty badly (I had dropped to around 30 with double down arrows on the Dexcom) following a class. Ever since then I get out of the water and test halfway through EVERY time. Have caught some lows in progress that I didn't even feel. I just had to tell myself that it would be much more embarrasing to pass out in the water then to get out in the middle of class for a few minutes to confirm that all is okay. I would rather have the health benefits of exercise with a few moments of 'I need to pause and check' then use that as an excuse to NOT exercise. My heart and my quality of life will thank me in the long run for having the courage to take care of myself - and so will yours! Be brave, do something new and GOOD for yourself. And if people judge you - to bad for them. doesn't matter. This is about you and your life - live it fully because you CAN!

I remembered I had written a blog post about this a couple of years ago. It may be a little more judgmental than what I said yesterday. The gist of it is that diabetes is a responsibility.

Had the same concerns before joining spin classes despite being an avid biker. Decided that I should let the instructor know that I am diabetic, use a pump and will need to stop and leave the workout room to test my BG at least once during the hour long workout. They were all totally cool and supportive about it … One even told me about her diabetic dad. Told them I never gone so low that I acted strange or passed out, but they were like a support system for me.
Since its too dark to test BG in spin class anyway, I just hop off the bike, take my water bottle for a refill along with testing case and fast acting carbs with me. Nobody cares or takes notice except the instructor who gives me a thumbs up and my thumbs up reply means all good be back in a minute.
Go for it. No need to be self conscious.

I have had similar feelings about classes but so far my experience has been great. In my yoga classes (especially hot yoga) I have spoken to the instructor before class that I have to bring a snack in, may have to stop and could possibly start beeping but it is not a cell phone simply because the environment is slightly different then a regular exercise class. It has never been a big deal though. Classes have really stepped up my fitness motivation so have fun with it. Also, I wear the omnipod pump on my arm sometimes and have had great conversations with moms who are struggling with their kids diabetes and are looking for information so I definitely second the sentiment that it often presents opportunities to educate people and bond with others.

I did it! Almost. Went to about 60 out of 90 minutes worth of the class. My hips were killing me and blood sugar had dropped 70 points so I called it a day but will try to go back tomorrow night. A bit overwhelmed at first, there were 50 people in the class but once it got started I just tried to focus on the class and my yoga. Thank you for the encouragement, suggestions and empathy.


That's a pretty good effort Patrick.

At some point. like others have said, you just forget about what you think people are thinking about what you are doing. I have no qualms about testing on a treadmill, while I'm in the weight-room, in the middle of jiu-jitsu, wherever. I found that 99.9% of the time, people just either don't notice or are pretending not to notice. The other .01 percent of the time, there will be another diabetic who notices and wants to spark up a conversation.

We all started at the same place, but it does get easier.

That's going to be absolutely the key to getting through a 90 minute workout. You're just, absolutely, must be able to take the 45 seconds to check your BGs periodically. If need be, you must, absolutely be able to treat not just a low, but be able to anticipate how fast you will be dropping so you can pre-emptively stop a crash and finish your work-out.

Keep up the good work!!

Hey Patrick…I’m so happy I randomly saw this post! I am a type 1 AND a power yoga, boot camp, spinning instructor. start by saying I 100% understand and can relate to your worries. And to be honest you simply have to get over it and go to class. We all know anxiety doesn’t help our blood sugar. The first thing you need to do before class starts is tell the instructor that you have diabetes and may have to stop multiple times to check your sugar. They wont care at all! Think about it…would you care if somebody had to stop? Do you have anyone to go to class with you? If so have them be your look out, watching you for signs of low blood sugar that you may not feel or notice yourself. Remember yoga is a non competitive workout, you do what feels right for you, it’s your workout and the teacher is just a guide. I definitely have had some embarrassing moments…I have hypoglycemia unawareness, and before I got my CGM I had some scary lows, that’s why you need to tell the teacher!
Please let me know if I can help in any way!!! I have soooo many suggestions.

Thanks gang. Went to a meditation class tonight which felt great. 45 minute class but it dropped my sugars 100 pts (although I had units on board from dinner). I am slowly working my way into it. The apprehensiveness I had 2 days ago to yesterday and today have started to decrease a bit. Your success stories and empathy is what propelled me to go. Thank you always.