What I Wish I Had Always Known about Exercise and Diabetes
Even though I have personally been living with diabetes since I was four years old (in 1968), I knew even back then—more than a decade before the era of home blood glucose monitoring began—that exercise did good things for my blood sugars. How could I tell without a meter? Mainly I knew because being active always made me feel better, physically and emotionally, in ways that nothing else could. In fact, as I went through my teenage years without any way to know what my blood sugars were, exercising regularly gave me the only sense of control that I had over my diabetes. There are some things that I know now about exercise that I wish someone had told me years ago. Luckily, times have changed, and you have access to information now about exercise and diabetes (any type) that I did not.
For starters, did you know that exercise can virtually erase your blood sugar mistakes? I knew it helped me, but it wasn't until I got my first monitor in the mid-1980s that I found out how much. Why? Exercise acts as an extra dose of insulin by getting the sugar out of your blood and into your muscles without insulin (through an insulin-independent mechanism related to muscle contractions themselves). When you're not being active, your body needs insulin to stimulate that uptake. Being regularly active makes your muscles more sensitive to any insulin in your body as well, so it takes less to get the job done. What better way to help erase a little overeating of carbs (or a slight lack of insulin or insulin resistance) than a moderate dose of exercise to lower your blood sugar?
Chocolate Meringue Kisses Carolina Low Country Bourbon and Peach Chicken Cilantro Pesto Spiced Green Beans Spicy Baked Pork Chops Cold Lemon Broccoli Salad Tomato and Goat Cheese Salad Romaine Salad with Cashews Apple, Pear, and Cranberry Compote "Come and Get 'Em" Potato Skins
As I mentioned in an earlier post, one of the benefits that made it cost-effective for me to go with the real healthcare (HSA) plan rather than the phony (HRA) plan is that my company is now covering "preventative" medicines at $0 copay. The formulary for these, as stated by CVS/Caremark (my pharmacy benefits provider), covers all test strips, lancets, and control solutions. I dutifully get my doctor to write up prescriptions for all of my testing needs, submit...