Spontaneous Exercise and Diabetes

Picture of a guy walking I have really been trying to get back on the exercise wagon lately.  Everything feels better when I’m exercising regularly, both physically and mentally.

Within the past year or so, I’ve noticed that my body just hurts when I’m not getting enough exercise.  My back hurts, my knee hurts, everything seems like such a chore.  It is clear that as I age, I need to be downright aggressive about keeping my body moving.

I’ve put on a bunch of weight, so now even bending over to pick something up is hard to do.  It’s awful.  If I drop a dollar on the floor, I might offer you $0.50 just to pick it up for me.

As recent as a couple of weeks ago I couldn’t even walk one mile because my back would start hurting.  My Wednesday night wintertime basketball nights were depressing and painful.   I was twice the player I used to be, and half the player I used to be, all at the same time.  I hated it.

I know that I need to start small and work my way up again, which for me, at least for now, just means walking.  I need to get out and walk as much as I can and as often as I can.  Walking is awesome because it is something that you can just get up and do whenever the mood strikes.  Almost.

Unless I’ve planned ahead at least an hour, I can’t walk for long without my blood sugar going low.  Then I have to eat something, which pisses me off because I’m walking to lose weight!  I know in my head that even though I’m eating to fight off the low, the walking is still good for me.  But emotionally?  It kicks my ass.  I get SO MAD that I can’t just get up and go for a nice long walk whenever I want to.

Typically, I’ve got myself so mentally worked up about this stupid thing that when I start planning ahead I get all pissed off about it again!  Then my motivation to move disappears, and I go do something else (not exercise related).

As my frustration around all of this builds, I’ve noticed that the sheer frustration has buoyed my motivation a bit, but I worry it won’t last long.  As the weather warms again I’m also reminded of how frustrated I got when doing all of the “outside jobs” around the house.  I mean, who plans for hours before mowing the lawn?

Picture of my lawn partially mowed


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17 thoughts on “Spontaneous Exercise and Diabetes

  1. Oh dear. It’s just like i’m talking. How i do understand you about anger, tears and frustration. As soon as i’m out of that depression of mine, i will have the energy to face this. Until now, i’ll try not to drop a dollar on the floor.

  2. I know exactly how you feel! I had the same problem for years! The one thing that’s changed it for me has been eating a low(er)/low(ish) carb diet. I’m not a 30g of carbs per day person, but by lowering my carbs I’ve lowered my meal boluses significantly which means less insulin on board between meals, which means exercise drops me much less! Now I can exercise spontaneously with only a tiny snack (~10g carbs) or even none at all sometimes! I can’t say that this would work for everyone (nor that it’s an easy fix), but it’s really worked for me! Just thought I’d share….

  3. Sue,
    Happens to me a lot, but I don’t really apologize to anyone, I usually say I can’t help it, because they really don’t get it anyway.
    Most of the time I don’t really realize I am crabby, but my hubby points it out, when I test and he says that is why you are yelling at me, which I reply you don’t know what yelling is. 😉

  4. When my blood sugar falls too low I go into fits of anger. As soon as I eat I feel better and have to apologize to everyone. Does this happen to anyone else?

  5. I am 38 and was diagnosed with type 1 just 3 days before Christmas last year. I am still trying to get to grips with managing it and lows are too common because of what I’m eaing or doing. Sometimes vacuuming the house or over exerting myself is enough. Total pain as I am used to digging garden or working with plants ‘as and when’. Find it so hard to plan and then your day is wasted.

  6. I’m a T2 grandmother, but I do loads of exercise and never eat more than 12 grams of carbs at one time. [Bernstein eating plan]. I can hike 4 or 5 miles uphill and down dale on a piece of cheese without any problems. Icarry glucotabs, but have only had to open the pack for someone else to have some.

  7. I wish my sugars would come down that quick when exercising as a 41 insulin dependent (now pumping) diabetic I would love to make preliminary changes to my basal rates but can never nail it. I just do the exercise B-4 a meal time and then can adjust my bolus.

  8. EXACTLY! Pisses me off too! Especially when Maddison wants to go for a bike ride…..Ummmm……let me think about this a minute. I HATE that we have to eat just to keep from going low. I think I miss the spontanaity most!
    Its good you know all about the baby steps….you will get there! I know you will!

  9. You aren’t alone! Lows always bug me when I try to work out…or do any sort of yard work. I’m on a pump, and my doctor suggested I drop my basals to 85% of normal. I do it for an hour before I work out (if I know I’m going to) or when I realize I’m going to work out and then for an additional two hours…for a total of three hours. This is the FIRST thing that has helped me…I can finally walk for about an hour much easier. It really has helped me…that and I tend to pop a life saver every 15-20 minutes…grapes would probably help also. I have finally started to lose weight since I started doing this…I’m finally feeling like I’m starting to figure this out…maybe. Good luck.

  10. You are so me!!!
    I am always pissed off about exercise and movement as well.
    I thought going on the pump would make it better, but for me not worth messing with my basals, so I test and snack and exercise, but not for very long mind you to where I have to test, snack and maybe exercise again or just totally give up and sit on the couch.
    Type 1 for 43 years and sometimes I feel I could run marthons when on NPH and regular. I swear my lows with movement is the constant fast acting insulin in me all the time via the pump.

  11. When I was younger I could eat all I wanted and never exercised an always was skinny. Then the 40’s hit and then the 50’s and now I am almost 60. 3 years ago being dx’d as a diabetic was a real wake call. I was a club tennis player playing 4-6 hours a week but that was not enough exercise to take the weight off and make me more sensitive to my own insulin. I started lifting weights, kickboxing and whatever I could find to keep moving. My husband and I now do hiking in different mountain ranges every summer. In the spring I start training so I can make it up the mountain . I’ll be turning 60 this summer and finally am in the shape I should have been years ago.

  12. Scott,
    One word: cycling. It’s really low impact (totally helps my back feel better), fantastic cardiovascular, and has a non-spiky glucose need. though I’m not T1, my daughter is, and we’ve done a couple of cycling tours together.
    Best of luck,

  13. You’re right, it IS frustrating! It would be so beautiful to just be able to go for a run, walk, bike ride, lawn mow, etc. without planning, and without taking anything along. Having to stop and suck down glucose tabs or shot blocks in the middle of a workout due to a low sucks even more and has brought me to tears on more than one occasion. But the joy of being outside, enjoying nature, and moving my body is what keeps me going. I hope you will keep going too, and that you find enough joy in it to overshadow the frustration.

  14. almost 9 year i got i a very very bad chest injection then i was truned into mild case amoniea three weeks i was hospital they pump me with drugs then later i was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes before this i was a fit healthy woman i did line dance 15 years ago i stop for while beacause i got married move way i was try to get back to it each time i it get back i would get end in the hospital later last year my auntie die from cancer after battling breast then to her spin is this is not happing to me so next time there this line dancing class im going i been do it now 11 week now i have notice a change in me i fell fitter healther happy and stronger

  15. Well, I admit that I used to plan for hours – days even before mowing the lawn. But I was mostly planning on ways to get out of doing it, so it’s not the same.
    And I must admit, regular exercise has helped a lot. I hate to admit that. I loathe exercise for the sake of exercise – but I miss being able to just go out and walk when I want.

  16. I need to get back to exercising, too, at least for the next 3 weeks. The better shape I am in going into surgery, the easier the recovery.
    And yeah, I feel you on the yard work. 20 minutes was all I could take the other day…

  17. I am new to the D blogosphere, and thank goodness I have found all of you! I seriously thought I was the only 25 year diabetes veteran that couldn’t figure out how to work out without my blood sugar dropping, and the only one feeling frustrated that I had to eat all the calories I just burned to combat a low. And it’s not like I want to run a marathon, I just want to be able to run 5 miles! That shouldn’t be too much to ask! I, too, just feel better about life when I’m exercising regularly so for now I am walking, which makes me feel like a loser, but it’s better than nothing. I have felt every single feeling that you have expressed, so thanks, because I know I’m not alone.