An Extraordinary First Step…

HeartI’m not going to keep you in suspense…

I didn’t die of a heart attack while exercising yesterday.

That being said, I did learn a few things because of my first official exercise attempt since accepting the Roche/Duracell offer to challenge myself to do something extraordinary. Armed with a heart monitor and the Duracell powered Accu-Chek Nano blood glucose meter, I set off to take on the world…which in my case, was the playground.

It’s hard to fit in a regular exercise routine with a toddler, especially when I’m playing single stay at home mom. She’s with me 24/7 right now while we’re sorting out the houses (Buying and selling homes back to back is not for the weak!) and so I can’t say: “Let’s go for a 1/2 hour walk around the block a few times!” She hears: “Let’s scream if you put me in a stroller, but if you don’t do that, I’ll turn it into a ‘pick up a rock, put down a rock, pick up a stick, run around and lie in the middle of the street’ walk.” We haven’t had much success, as you can surmise.

So, I bribed her with the playground and chose to walk briskly around the pirate ship structure that houses slides and bells and things for her to do. It may not have been a perfect exercise routine, but it worked for me.

What I learned:

  • My resting heart rate is even higher than I thought. The heart monitor that was given to me to participate in the program showed that I hovered between 10 and 20 points of the minimum target heart rate for my age (which is old, people… don’t let the face fool you…). I’m so grateful that I was able to have it on and monitor it throughout the exercising so that I was able to see that my fear was unfounded. I didn’t have to exert much to get into the target range, which was good because…
  • I’m out of shape. That wasn’t new to me, but more of an affirmation that I can’t really shrug the whole “I don’t need to exercise” part of the diabetes lifestyle off anymore. Ten minutes into my walk around the playground, watching The Kid climb around like a spider monkey on crack, I was breathing pretty hard and thinking to myself: “When does the great endorphin high that everyone talks about kick in?” (Hint: It didn’t. Ever. Got to figure that out.)
  • The Accu-Chek Nano rocks. It’s smaller than most meters, which means the case is smaller and takes up less room in my purse. (This is a big deal for me and for a lot of female diabetics. Don’t discount that.) I checked my new Nano against my existing meter and both readings came back close to each other, so it’s as accurate as the other meters/strips out on the market. Quick, easy, and much different from my very first meter, which was ironically, also an Accu-Chek. (The 1983 model, which was a two minute, wipe the blood off with a cotton ball and hope you don’t wipe off the reagent on the strip one. Good times. Good times. We’ve come a long way.) I’m going to play with the reminders when I’m not sweating.
  • My blood sugar pre-prandial was 131. I ate my normal breakfast (mmm….peanut butter on a Thomas English muffin and a cup of coffee. OK, two cups of coffee.) and after exercise, it was 68, even after dosing a little less for the increase in activity. I will have to play with the compensation factor when it comes to introducing exercise into my life. Do I add carbs or do I decrease insulin? That’s a question I ponder. What say you, DOC?Pre and Post
  • I did have an extended low after exercising. I remembered that this could happen, so didn’t panic until I was two hours into being under 70 with a no bolus lunch and glucose tabs under my belt. You can guess what happened… my blood sugar shot up. The Accu-Chek Nano clocked me at 275 (which coincided right with my CGM) and I slowly dosed to bring myself back to normal levels. By dinner, I was fine.
  • I sweat a lot for a thin girl.

I’m going to keep taking steps to being healthier and developing an exercise routine. Why?

I watched my daughter play and laugh while I exercised and it was a wonderful reminder that I want to be extraordinary…

For her.

*Disclosure: By participating in this program Accu-Chek is providing me with an Accu-Check Nano meter and test strips for a month. P&G/Duracell has provided me with a heartrate monitor to help me with my exercise challenges (as well as a FitBit Flex). In exchange, I have agreed to write about my experiences in exercise and blood glucose testing with the Duracell powered Accu-Check Nano Meter.


  1. seejendance

    My CDE gave me a chart for exercising because I was having so many middle of dance lesson lows. It says you can eat up to 15 extra grams of carbs without a bolus if you are doing some serious exercise and not hyperglycemic. I want to say its a chart in Pumping Insulin if you can snag it from a library.

    • theperfectd

      I have Pumping Insulin… Packed in a box along with the rest of my belongings. ;) But I will totally keep that in mind and maybe add extra carbs for now. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Scott K. Johnson

    Great job, Christel!

    It’s a mess of experiments to figure out how to balance things. I sometimes use less insulin AND more carbs. In theory, just one of those alone should work (if you turn it down enough or eat enough).

    One of the lessons I learned on my big bike ride last year was that I needed to fuel my exercise. I had to turn my basal rate down by 50% AND eat about 45-60 grams of carbs per hour (with no bolus). It was crazy. All that to say that you’ll need to experiment and keep trying different combinations of things. You’ll figure it out!

  3. scully

    GOOD FOR YOU! I’m really impressed.
    FOR ME…. I prefer less insulin pre workout. The type of workout totally dictates the routine though. (i find)

    Most of it is trial and error unfortunately but isn’t diabetes always like that?

  4. StephenS

    I smiled all the way through reading this. Which, if you knew me, is something. Sounds like a great first step.

    I almost never begin exercise these days unless I’m over 140 mg/dL. If I’m under that, I eat until I’m where I need to be. Honey usually does the trick without making me sick once the exercise begins. During exercise, I do a temp basal of anywhere from 10 to 50 percent depending on the exercise (50% for cycling, 10% for running, 30-40% for yard work). I also make sure the temp basal lasts long enough to cover the exercise + cool down, which is always a good idea and helps get you into toward endorphin high thingy:)

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