Walking: The Wonder Drug
My mom is visiting for two weeks for Christmas, New Years, and both kids’ birthdays. Whenever she’s in town we go for lots of long walks. Yesterday, however, was an epic walk even for us. We covered about 7 miles all over San Diego – Balboa Park to downtown to Seaport Village and back. The last bit of our trek was mostly uphill, I was pushing the double stroller, and then Mateo said he had to go potty (he’s potty training!) and I had to dash a couple blocks to the nearest Starbucks.
We were out for about 5 hours total and I watched my Dexcom regularly. After a frittata for breakfast, I had an iced coffee around 11:00 a.m. and then snacked on apple sauce, a Larabar, nuts, and raisins for the afternoon. I bolused very little insulin and my blood sugar remained in a great range all day: 75 to 117 mg/dl.
Walking a lot typically has this effect on blood sugars while I’m active. However, the thing that surprised me after this particular day was how my blood sugar remained on the low side for so long afterwards. I had a low carb dinner and bolused only a couple units. I had to snack to keep from going too low. Later at night I had a bag of light Kettle Corn (19 grams of carbohydrate) and didn’t bolus at all. My blood sugar was 140 mg/dl and rising slightly at bedtime. I gave myself my regular half dose of Lantus but no Humalog. I still awoke low at 2:45 a.m. (ate a date and some grapes) and again at 5:15 a.m.
I typically undervalue walking as exercise since it’s less strenuous than my typical workouts: running and swimming. However, this blood sugar response was akin to what I’d expect after a long run – 8 to 10 miles. How interesting!