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Wait - That's Exercise, Too?

Exercise has been tough to come by lately.  I've had a hard time getting to the gym for a regular workout because of BSparl's schedule, my work deadlines, and the overall chaos of Casa de Sparling.  By the time 7 pm rolls around, the last thing I want to do is skip off to the gym and mess with weights and cardio machines.  Nope.

However, ways of exercising are finagling their way into my day - WITHOUT MY EVEN KNOWING IT.  How am I clued in?  Why, the Dexcom wails alert me to my moments of physical exertion!  And my total daily dose of Humalog is down from 28u to 25u lately. Over the last two weeks, my #sweatabetes hasn't come in the form of formal workouts, but instead random and bizarre things. 

To illustrate:

  • BSparl and I danced our way through an entire episode of The Cat in the Hat, complete with twirling at the "Here we go, go, go, go ... on an adventure!" song part.  You'd be surprised at how much work it is to chase after a little bird all day long, but that kid keeps me moving.  We dance, sing, corral the cats, pretend that we're squirrels ... watching my daughter is the most constant form of exercise I'll ever, ever have.  Kid wipes me out!
  • I spent over an hour each night in the backyard, removing the blasted red mulch from the garden and replacing it with gardening soil and brown mulch.  Back in the day, I would have scoffed at the concept of gardening as "exercise," but damn!  Raking, weeding, digging, carrying heavy bags of mulch and soil, and scoping up the discarded stuff into the clean up bags was murder on my back and arms.  And legs.  But the garden is starting to look good.  And hopefully I'm burning mad calories being all domesticated and whatnot. 
  • In keeping with my Suzie-Sunshine-Domestic-Goddess fakery, I've been working around the house to prepare things for BSparl's big ol' first birthday party.  Even with just our families, it's going to be a sizable gathering.  So Chris and I have been finishing up some last repairs on the house, and these chores are making my blood sugars plummet like I'm spending the afternoon at Target.  Moving things in the garage, cleaning up the office downstairs ... it's all a constant flow of activity.
  • Not to mention the few times I've made it to the home gym, watched some Hulu, and made the ellipmachine my bitch.  (That's formal exercise, but since I didn't leave my home for it, I can't call it a "real workout."  Because, in my mind, a real workout includes beeping my key fob at the gym.)
Exercise is sneaky.  It's not always found clad in yoga pants and a sports bra.  Sometimes it's messy and covered in mulch.  Sometimes it's working alongside small, cat-themed gardening tools that my daughter is supposed to use but I may or may not have used on my own at one time or another (I needed to dig around a very fragile plant!):

CAT GARDENING TOOLS!!  They make everything.  And the little rake thing creeps me out, because the rake spokes look like legs. Spider cat?
(I make these live outside because they creep me out just a wee ickle bit.)

Exercise:  It's everywhere.  Sneaky little pest!  How do you work in your workout without hitting the gym?


Exercise IS sneaky!!
Gardening is a 'kickass' form of exercise that will not only make you tired, lower your blood sugars and introduce you to tools that you never thought you'd use, it gives you a sense of accomplishment!
My gardening advice, plant lots of perennials (less work in the long run) and LOTS of veggies and herbs- more yummy in the long run!
As far as your "little bird" is concerned, watching her grow and keeping up with all the wonderfulness that is her, sounds like an amazing form of exercise - Giving your heart, soul, & body a never ending workout!

I feel like they needed to make a decision with that rake - two legs or four - because three is just creeping me out!

When do we get to see a bigger picture of the garden?

Tug-of-war war with my dog. Keep away. Fetch. It's kind of like chasing after a kid. And then there is the vacuuming and carpet cleaning after said dog brings in the mud...

I know chasing little kids around lowers glucose. I’m most likely to have lows on Saturday when the grandsons are with me. Part of the day frequently includes donning my black cape with the purple satin collar, inserting fangs, and chasing them around the house with my invisible assistant, Igor. They shoot me with Nerf guns, scream, and dive head first into the tent in the play room which is vampire-safe. At some point on these days, it’s very likely that I will later be sitting on my kitchen floor drinking milk. The older grandson will ask me if I’m OK and I tell him that I will be in a minute. Then he’ll ask if we can do it again.

I've lost 1/2 pound this week gardening with my toddler. And he takes extra long naps. 2 for the price of 1

Adorable cat gardening tools! Maybe that's what I need to get me gardening...

Hidden exercise...walking through the subway station dragging a suitcase. I've tested so many times in Times Square that I'm surprised that the police officers that roam there don't know me by now!

Other hidden forms of exercise...housework. Definitely! Cleaning out the fridge. Dusting. On days when I'm extra sensitive, even doing laundry!

I agree with Sara ... we'd like to see full garden pics!!

I'm trying really hard to lose some weight, so I'm only counting my time on the treadmill, going for runs, or doing workout DVDs as exercise. I know if I start counting my chores and stuff as exercise I'll slack on my workout - and I can't let myself do that!!!

And am I the only one who thinks that the cat garden rake looks like some weird cat-spider hybrid??

Sara & Marie - Full garden pictures coming once I have the thing entirely re-mulched. Almost there ... just need another night or two of midnight gardening. :D

I have to do a temp basal of about -80-90% when I clean the house (3 bathrooms, vacuum 2 levels, hike laundry and assorted mess up and down stairs, carry bucket of cleaning products, mop...etc.). It was a big surprised when my CDE and RD looked at my records and said "what were you doing THERE?" and I said "cleaning the house." Admittedly, the house *should* be a lot cleaner and I would have better BGs, but that's another thing. ;) Yard work and chasing, I mean playing with the wee ones also rank right up there w/ Target. Just wait until BSparl starts learning to ride a bike! WHEEEE and there's your workout. ;) Good times.

I can't stop looking at that gardening shovel.

I totally count vacuuming as cardio. :)

Good post! I have to agree that child rearing is certainly a form of interval training. I am also wiped by days end, and often go back to work monday for a break. I have a gym in the basement, treadmill, elliptical, heavy bag, free weights, and try to get down there 2-3 times a week. Although, this doesn't happen according to plan. Cheers!

I find workouts in the strangest places too!!! Washing our SUV is a workout for me because I'm under 5 foot 2 and reaching the top of that car is quite a workout!!!!! Great post!

I can so relate to this. Sometimes I have to be extra careful because I find myself doing something that is strenuous when I really shouldn't! Later I realize my mistake when my body rebels. But hey, I'll take exercise anyway I can get it.

I once had someone tell me that I'm lucky because I can see that exercise actually has an impact because of my numbers. What I didn't tell her is that I waste all the extra burned calories on sugar to treat the lows!

Alyssa-my meter's favorite number is 54, too! It loves to show me that after a nice walk home from school.

I use the stairs any time possible and park the vehicle in the last spot wherever I go. Every calorie burnt counts!

I totally agree! Exercise can be very sneaky. Working fulltime and going to school + being obese did not help me manage my diabetes (type2). Due to time constraint I decided to give working out at home a try and here I am 1 yr later and 65 lbs lost. My A1C went from 9.9 to 5.8. I am so happy it is working! Don't give up do something fun that keeps you engaged to keep you motivated to workout if you need to.

Take stairs as opposed to elevators whenever you have the opportunity, and walk a little bit further too (if you're parking in a big parking lot, for example). One other bit too, is that if you happen to work in an office that has long hallways, take the long route, and/or walk past the bathroom and back to it each time you go. A few more steps on the pedometer!

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