Tracking your Numbers: Walking through the process of checking and recording your blood glucose levels through light and moderate Activity.
By: Roy Collins
It’s important to learn the levels of your own body, and how different exercises can affect your levels over the course of the activity. Throughout and after playing college football I have participated in yoga to protect my body against the pounding that comes with running, playing pickup basketball, and weight lifting. So we’ll use yoga in this scenario because it’s a light to moderate activity that should produce one singular blood glucose action.
Step 1: Test your Blood Glucose Level (BS) 3 hours before the Yoga Session
At three hours from activity, there’s plenty of time to eat any meals or make adjustments necessary before needing to be truly concerned about BS levels. I recommend this initial check just for general safety and to make sure your number isn’t extremely high due to a missed bolus or pump malfunction
Step 2: Re-Test BS 45mins-1 hour from the start of the Session
Yoga will cause your BS level to drop, so BS levels should be slightly elevated immediately before starting yoga. Having a normal resting BS level an hour before Yoga is acceptable if you then consume a snack to be slightly elevated for the start of the session.
Step 3: Test right before the start of the Activity in order to be thoroughly safe against an adverse event. Knowing whether you need to back out or if you can continue is paramount. Testing just before will also give you an exact starting point if you feel your BS going either high or low.
Be mindful of the drop in BS the activity might cause. Have your testing materials close by so that in the event you feel weak or lightheaded, you can see exactly where you stand. My yoga sessions are only an hour long, so if not prompted I won’t test again until after the activity is complete
Step 4: Immediately After Yoga, test your BS and note the differences between the starting and resulting numbers after an hour or so of activity. Actually write it down. This change will give you a great indication of how your body reacts to low to moderate sustained activity for this amount of time. You can use this information to better estimate future activities at similar intensity levels.
Step 5: 2 hours after yoga you should test yourself again. By this time, your body should be fully recovered and you may be surprised to see either a substantial rise or drop as a result of that recovery. As suggested in Step 4, write down how your BS has changed and make note of this event for future activities.