Excercise Physiology?

Drawing of back musclesI’ve talked my boss into letting me split my late shifts twice a week which allows me to go play basketball at the YMCA over lunch, and I’ve also taken a couple of flatwater kayaking lessons and I’m planning on doing that a couple of times a week. I got my bicycle tires all pumped up and I think I’m ready for a test ride.

As I’m getting more active I am getting increasingly more interested in how the body works in relationship to exercise and what the body needs for fuel, how your blood sugar level affects your performance, and the differences between how a non-diabetic persons body works while exercising and how a diabetic body works while exercising.

The body has such a complex system for balancing the blood sugar level, releasing insulin to lower blood sugar, releasing glycogen to raise blood sugar, dealing with adrenaline and other blood sugar raising hormones, all the while dealing with different sources of energy (glucose, fatty acids, etc.) depending on the intensity, duration, environment, circumstances, etc. It’s really mind-blowing.

I’m hoping to leverage the exercise to lose some more weight, which is difficult if I keep eating to maintain a high enough blood sugar. You can cut your insulin back a bit, but you still need some on board otherwise your bodies fuel sources can’t get the energy into the cells. There is a fine line there, and it’s hard to put exercise into a quantifiable number.

I’ve also had problems with my blood sugar rising because either my body dumping adrenaline causing higher insulin resistance or just not having enough insulin on board.

It’s a bit frustrating because while exercising, conditions are usually not ideal for frequent testing (which is necessary to figure this stuff out!!).

I think that the more I learn and understand how my body works, the better I’ll be able to anticipate my insulin needs. Any advice on books to read, etc?

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2 thoughts on “Excercise Physiology?

  1. Hi Scott,

    Haven’t posted a comment here before, but have been checking in from a link over at Violet’s site.

    I’m a mom to a 9-yr old boy who was dx’d Type 1 last August.

    Anyhow, I recently picked up a book called Think Like a Pancreas by Gary Sheiner. The author is an exercise physiologist, and thus provides some good info on different forms of exercise and their affects on blood sugars. I haven’t finished it yet, but so far the book is pretty good– some info might seem basic to you, but I am finding things in there that I haven’t seen elsewhere…
    You might want to see if your local library has it. That way you can see if there’s enough new information in it to warrant a purchase.

    Oh, and when I read your “Balancing Responsibilities” post I was going to suggest bike riding (and here you are with bicycle tires pumped up and ready to go!). I also have a 2-yr old. Our bike trailer has really helped us get out on the bikes with the kids.

    Sounds like you’re doing all the right things here. Gathering info, exploring different forms of exercise, and cultivating a body awareness that will help make diabetes management that much better.

    Good luck, and keep posting. As I read your blog, I learn a lot about the challenges that await my son in the future. Good or bad, it’s better to gain understanding than to fear the unknown.