Changes in your Exercise Routine with Diabetes

Posted by katie on Thu, 06/27/2013 - 12:28 in

Katie-Machia-HikingSome winters seem a lot longer than others. This past winter was one of those for me, but not just because of the weather (although I am happy that summer has finally arrived in northern New York)! I had started exercising on the treadmill inside our house when the snow began falling and the temperatures dropped. After a few weeks, I was feeling some pain in my lower leg. I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a possible stress fracture and told to stop running for several weeks to give it time to heal.

The doctor suggested I consider alternative exercises that were low impact to keep up with my diabetes management, such as swimming or using an elliptical machine. But neither of those appealed to me. So I decided to just try walking on the treadmill, and to be honest, when you can’t do the exercise you love, it’s tough to keep a regular schedule with anything else.

Since my “real exercise” routine was temporarily on hold, I began to notice some definite changes in my blood sugar levels. They were much higher, almost on a daily basis. I found myself continually having to make adjustments with insulin doses on my insulin pump and having to give myself more than the usual amount.

When I was finally able to run again, my blood sugar numbers started looking much better. After a few days, they were more within the normal range and I didn’t need as much insulin. I felt so much better!

Since the warm weather is here, there are even more opportunities for physical activity. Our family has already been hiking in the Adirondack Mountains. We plan to get more exercise with a kayak and a stand-up paddleboard (SUP). I love exercising outdoors because there is so much to see that sometimes you don’t realize you’re actually burning calories.

I knew that regular exercise was important in helping control my blood sugar, but I never realized how important it was until this past winter. I wasn’t training for a marathon, just running about 30 minutes each day. What a difference it had made!

Unexpected changes in your exercise routine and schedule can impact your diabetes management. Insulin pump therapy allows you to be more flexible when those situations arise. Try a free demo of the Omnipod insulin pump.