Wednesday, October 26, 2011

EXERCISE is part of your medication

I cannot stress how important exercise is in the treatment of your diabetes. The weather is starting to get chilly, which means you are going to find reasons not to get out doors and exercise. That's fine. You don't need to be outside in order to get a great exercise.

Recently I went indoor rock wall climbing with my bff. She bought a two for one deal off of living social / groupon. She treated me to rock climbing for one of my birthday gifts. It was a really awesome experience and I am glad we both got the opportunity to do it. Not only was it a lot of fun, it was an amazing work out.

Mind you, I am incredibly out of shape, have no upper body strength, and am some what afraid of heights, but no problem, I still benefited greatly from the workout benefits of rock wall climbing.

General Benefits:
While indoor rock climbing, you will be working your core (abs, lower back), glutes, forearms, shoulders and legs. Additionally you will also improve flexibility and balance. It is also a great exercise for your brain since you are constantly calculating your next move.

Diabetic Benefits:
Exercise has significant and particular benefits for people with type 1 diabetes. It increases sensitivity to insulin, lowers blood pressure, improves cholesterol levels, and decreases body fat.

Keep in Mind:
Exercise will lower your blood sugar levels. Therefore it is extremely important to check your blood sugar before you exercise. Additionally, pay attention to how you feel while you are exercising. If you question how you feel at all, stop and test your blood.

When I went rock climbing, I tested my blood sugar before we began, it was about 120 before we started so I ate a small snack. I didn't take any insulin for the snack. After just a little bit of exercise though I felt low. I told my friend I had to stop to test my blood. I did and it was 70! So I ate another snack and again did not take any insulin. The effects of exercise can stay in your body for anywhere from 24 hours to 36 hours, so be aware of that! My blood was literally running low for the next two days after rock climbing. But that is a great thing! Lower blood sugars, mean less insulin.

My friend and I went to Pipeworks in Sacramento, CA, but if you google indoor rock climbing, more than likely there is a rock climbing gym near you.

At Pipeworks you must demonstrate to the staff that you know what you are doing before you climb. Obviously you need to know how to climb properly otherwise you could get seriously hurt. Since most of us don't know how to do this, they offer a great introductory class with knowledgeable and helpful instructors. Pipeworks also rents out climbing equipment, including shoes so make sure to wear socks!
Check out their website:

Pipeworks is also a gym in addition to rock wall climbing, and it is one of the best gyms I've ever been in. I wish I lived closer (and had more money) because I would buy a membership to the gym in a heartbeat. Once I am gainfully employed, I do plan on making rock wall climbing a weekly part of my exercise routine. The benefits and blood sugar lowering effects are that good!

I highly recommend indoor rock climbing. It is so beneficial to your health, but also a lot of fun! If you can, bring a friend because you will need someone to belay for you (hold the rope on the ground as you climb). You and your friend will take turns climbing and belaying. Trust me you will get a great work out as the climber and/or the belayer!