Tagged: Charlie

Exercise that Fights Type 2 Diabetes

You need to exercise. Your doctor says so. Everyone says so. But what kind of exercise? Gyms are expensive and embarrassing. Weights look dangerous. Biking is fun until it rains or snows. Swimming sounds good but pool memberships are also costly and you worry about athlete’s foot and Diabetic Neuropathy. What is Crimson Rider supposed to do?

Let’s look at why you need to exercise and that will tell you what kinds of exercise will help the most. First, your body stores glucose which is sugar that comes from eating sugar or other carbohydrates. That’s right, bread is converted into sugar which is then stored in your body. Your body stores the glucose in muscles, so that when you are attacked by a saber toothed tiger you can run like blazes and get away. But there are no saber toothed tigers anymore and we rarely need to run from danger. So, the glucose builds up in your muscles.

When your stomach converts carbs into sugar, it then transports the sugar in the blood to muscles that need refilling for future saber toothed tiger attacks. If you have Type 2 Diabetes, your body doesn’t work like this very well. You may not have enough insulin to get the job done or you may not respond effectively to the insulin you make. In either case, if you can get the glucose out of your muscles, it will be easier for your body to process the sugar in your blood because it will have a place to go! Therefore, you need exercise that not only works your heart and builds your muscles, it must also use the glucose stored in your muscles.

According to Science Daily, new research has proven that high-intensity interval training can rapidly improve your body’s ability to metabolize or utilize glucose and thus lower your blood sugar levels. Interval training is short bursts (40 seconds for example) of intense exercise followed by 20 seconds of gentle exercise. By stringing together a series of exercises where each muscle group is worked, interval exercise can deplete glucose in the muscles making room for the sugar in your blood to go into your muscles.

You can find interval training programs in many gyms across the country. It may help you to have a group that regularly meets to complete the interval training as they may encourage you to keep going! But you can complete interval training, specifically designed for Type 2 Diabetes, in your home. We have links to YouTube videos on our Exercise page that are free, designed for people with Type 2 Diabetes, and focus on interval training to lower your glucose levels and improve your A1C levels.

Do you have exercise ideas that work to lower glucose levels and improve A1C numbers? Post them below and let other Crimson Riders know how you are fighting Type 2 Diabetes.





Finding Time to Exercise

Exercise has a tremendous impact on the quality of your life! You will feel better, have fewer problems related to Type 2 Diabetes, and look better if you exercise regularly. But finding time is a major problem. For years, I went to work at 7:30 am and worked till 5 pm every day. I teach at a university and my time was spent sitting in front of a computer, sitting in front of a desk, or standing in front of a class. I didn’t get a lot of exercise and it showed. I weighed in at 250 lbs and I could barely get up off the floor if I laid down.

After my diagnosis, I decided to get ready for a 30 mile bike ride as part of the Tour De Cure fundraiser organized by the American Diabetes Association. It was a great experience and you can learn more about it by watching my documentary: The Crimson Rider. I lost weight and felt pretty good after training for the ride and actually completing it. But after that, I found it hard to find time to ride my bike (trike). Getting the trike out, making sure the tires had air, and fixing whatever little problem had occurred in my crowded garage took time. I would ride through my neighborhood but that quickly became boring. I would drive to bike trails but that took even more time. If it rained or was cold, I had no desire to ride at all! Soon, I was barely riding. Some Crimson Rider!

The weight crept back up and the A1C went with it. Soon, I was back where I started.

I needed exercise that didn’t take a long time to prep or complete. I didn’t have time to drive to gyms or bike trails. I also needed a routine that was inexpensive and didn’t take much time.

Here’s what I did. I made radical changes so I could fight Type 2 Diabetes! I asked my chairperson not to schedule me for 8 am classes. I would come in at 9 am. I set the alarm for 6 am, went downstairs and ate my 30 carb breakfast. I cleaned up the dishes and took care of some daily chores and by 7:30 am I was in my family room in front of the computer watching YouTube.

Charlie O’Connell is the founder of Fitscript and the Glucosezone. He is a fitness trainer who has a YouTube channel with exercise videos for people with Diabetes. I started with level 1 of the D Fight Series which focuses on interval training: short bursts of hard exercise (40 seconds) followed by 20 seconds of light exercise. There are three people in each video. One is doing a very gentle form of each exercise. One does a moderate form; the last does an intense form. I stared with the gentle exercises which, believe me, were difficult for me at the time. The full video takes approximately 30 minutes.

I committed to completing the exercise every day but Sunday. I teach Sunday school and wanted the morning to prepare and go over my notes. My wife joined me for exercise which is very important and I’ll talk more about family support in another blog post. There were days when I couldn’t exercise because of some scheduling problem but I felt that I was doing my part as long as I worked out 4-5 times a week. Rain and cold were no longer a problem. I was finished by 8 am. I showered and went to work, there by 9 am. I could enjoy the rest of my day knowing my exercise was done and I had done my part to battle my Diabetes with exercise designed to fight my disease!

Eventually, I was doing the moderate exercise within the video and then the intensive exercise. Within one year and in conjunction with a 130 carb diet, my blood sugars were back under control (A1C of 5.7 as the day I am writing this) and my weight continues to drop (215 lbs today). We recently moved on to Level 2 of the D Fight Series presented by Charlie O’Connell on YouTube. The exercise is short, free, convenient, weather-proof, and private! I love it!

I encourage you to give the Fitscript exercises a try. They offer several different videos including one you can do from a chair. All you need is an hour to work out and clean up because you will sweat! You won’t see dramatic results for about 6 months in my experience. Then, you’ll start to see dramatic results that will greatly encourage you! If necessary, rearrange your schedule so that you can dedicate that hour every day. For me, 7:30 am works best! For you, it may be right after work, before bed, or something else. Try to set that hour aside every day. Don’t kick yourself if you miss a day. As long as you work out 4-5 times a week, you’ll get there! Don’t worry if all you can do is the gentlest form of exercise. That’s good enough, especially to start.

So, do you have any suggestions for other forms of exercise that can help your fellow Crimson Riders? Post them below! I still ride my trike but now for fun and a little bonus exercise! Please like this post and share it so your friends who have Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes, or have loved ones with Diabetes can see this and get some encouragement!

We’re in this fight together and we’re going to win! Till next time!

Jim Lenze
A Crimson Rider


Full disclosure, I have no relationship with Charlie O’Connell, Fitscript, or the GlucoseZone. I have just benefited from the videos and highly recommend them! These workouts do not require special equipment, just an Internet connection and room to move. Rain or shine, cold or hot, you can work out. There is no better way to fight Type 2 Diabetes!

Level 1

This video was the beginning of my daily exercise to fight Type 2 Diabetes. I followed it for one year and lost 35 lbs. My A1C went from 7.9 to 5.7 without medication. It’s a great place to begin!

Level 2

This video was step two for my daily exercise routine. I strongly urge you to get used to level one before trying level 2. Thanks, Charlie!