How We Even The Score With Our Pancreas (That SOB)

Exercise: The Great Simplifier in Diabetes Management

As a person with a type 1, we develop immunity to the supplement (cinnamon) ads and the “one food to stop eating to cure diabetes” ploys. This immunity, albeit strong, is still willing to identify things that do work on blood sugar, every time. Exercise (let’s use this under the assumption that the word exercise comes along with the idea that fun is also happening at the same time) is one of those things. It works every time. Every time. 

Insulin and exercise actually work on cells in the same fashion by mobilizing the GLUT4 receptor to the surface of the cell. If that receptor makes its way to the surface, glucose is allowed entry into the cell. Voilà! Some may try to use exercise, then, as a complete replacement for insulin. This is over simplified. I wish.

I’m going to nip this in the butt right off the bat–yes, depending on the kind of exercise, one may see a rise in blood sugar, not a decrease. Although this is physiologically possible due to stress, adrenaline, cortisol, and growth hormone, say in an anaerobic workout like extraordinarily heavy weight lifting, my experience has dictated a trend of any form of exercise lowing my blood sugar 95% of the time, with varying effects. This list includes walking, running, weight lifting (circuit training with an elevated heart rate), yoga, cycling, swimming, and surfing. You may very well be one of the people who experience highs with many kinds of exercise. If so, keep on listening to your body.

If consistently exercising–in a balanced fashion, not as part of a marathon training program, which is a roller coaster ride–exercise serves as the great simplifier. 

  • Counting carbs is more manageable.
  • The descent off a high is quicker.
  • Forgot a bolus? Not as a big of a deal.

Daily diabetes management is like walking out of your backdoor and climbing a mountain, everyday. With exercise as part of your arsenal, it’s like slicing off the bottom half of the mountain, allowing for the summit to be attainable, still with some work. Knowing that each movement I make is a gift of health for my diabetes management allows for a little more meaning when I hop on the bike, lace up the shoes, or roll out the mat.

How does exercise affect your daily management of the diabetes? Drop us in your tips!

==Is that weekend adventure calling your name? Pick up what our team uses when we hit the road, trail, or mountain.==

4 thoughts on “How We Even The Score With Our Pancreas (That SOB)

  1. Hi Ryan:

    Loved the article and the last one a few months ago. You always get me thinking, so I looked into the BS spikes and I’ll be submitting a post soon. Thanks for the inspiration!!

  2. Pingback: Freeing Exercise From The Diabetes Chokehold: 5 Big Fundamentals | Diabetes Daily Grind | Real Life Diabetes Podcast

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