Exercise and Diabetes

Hey there All, I was just curious.

What do all of you consider "exercise"???

What I mean is, I've been learning all I can this past 6 weeks, learned about Insulin-to-carb ratios

bolus, basal adjustments, carb counting, all that good stuff..

But what about exercise? I'm a pretty active person, 5-6 out of 7 days a week I work, and that work is a 3mi bike ride there, 5 hours of on the move work, at a sandwhich shop. then a 3 mi bike ride back home.

After that, I'll take a good break for a few hours, but then I'm usually back out there biking around.

On an average day, I would say I get a good 5-6 hours of non-stop exercise.

Would you all consider this a lot of exercise? what would you all consider exercise?

and how is a good way to compensate? so far I havent had any lows, or highs really.

how do yall do exercise?? any advice??

I’d consider that exercise, but it’s not just a matter of going through the “motions”. What I mean by that is how many calories are you burning, what’s your heart rate, pulse, sweating, etc. I see so many people in the gym who think they exercise by doing one set of bench, curls, squats, whatever it may be and then just stand there and rest for 2 minutes between sets or socialize. If you’re not increasing your heart rate at all or fluctuating it up and down, which is actually burning calories, then I wouldn’t consider it enough exercise to affect your BG levels. Some consider walking exercise, I don’t, unless it’s faster than a casual pace and I’m breaking a sweat. If that’s all you plan on doing, then I’d recommend a heart rate monitor to force you to kick it up a notch when needed…

It also sounds like you’re doing enough cardio (can’t comment on intensity). I’d definitely mix in some weights for variation. Studies have shown that weight lifting actually increases your metabolism more than distance cardio by burning calories long after your exercise.

Just my two cents…

Different types of “activity” do affect your BG in different ways. I’d definitely say that the different types of activities that you described can affect your BG and your insulin dose, sensitivity, etc. When I’m at work, I’m walking constantly, probably up to 3 miles a day. I know this affects my BG and I do consider it a type of “activity” that contributes to my overall activity level.

But, I do have set exercise routines that are designed to achieve fitness goals. I have a couple of different aerobic and cardio routines, each with its own HR target and time limit. I have a couple of different strength training weight routines with set amounts of weight and repetitions. I also have recovery routines for both cardio and strength training. I track my progress and I expect to maintain a certain level of performance that tells me my physical fitness goals are being met.

So, although I am “active” at work, what I do at work is not formally a part of my exercise plan and doesn’t really contribute to my fitness level. It’s really low low level aerobic that barely keeps my HR above resting levels. I’d say it’s the other way around. My exercise routine allows me to be as active as I am at work and allows my work routine to be less stressful.

Now, you can certainly incorporate your own activities into an overall physical fitness plan. Like Michael says, you’d have to formalize some of the things you do by tracking your effort level. Physical fitness goals like increased “cardio”, “aerobic capacity”, and “strength”, require different sustained levels of effort and output. For example, a sustained biking effort that puts your heart rate at 65% of max for 20 minutes or so would be considered an “aerobic” effort. That’s basically just peddling around at a fast enough pace to increase your breathing rate a bit. Biking up a hill and increasing your heart rate and breathing even more would start to put you into the “cardio” category. Charging up a hill as fast as you can until you are completely out of breath might be more a strength building effort.

These are all very general guidelines, or course, and you’d have to do a bit more research into what types of efforts will acheive what types of physical fitness goals for yourself.