diabetes supplement
Exercise For Diabetes

E is for Exercise

Some addictions are positive, unlike addictions to drugs. Years ago I broke my addictions to nicotine and to tetrahydrocannabinol. Those were a couple of the hardest things I ever did, but doing that was sure good for my health.

But now I have another addiction. I have become addicted to exercise. Every time I see that it’s a beautiful day out, I want to head for the mountains. Even when it’s a cold, rainy, or snowy day, I would like to go hiking, but instead I choose to head for the fitness center and one of the treadmills there.

I didn’t used to have this addiction. I started exercising in earnest when I started on Byetta. I exercised because I knew I should. My mind but not my body knew that it was good for me.

Should’s grate against my independent sensitivities, and I try to avoid “you should” in my conversation and writing. So when at a party a year or two ago, I resented what someone said to me so much that I still remember it.

I had mentioned how tired I was from my hike that afternoon. “You shouldn’t feel tired,” she said. “You should feel invigorated.”

She was wrong. I did feel tired after hard exercise then, because I had to push myself hard.

Nowadays, I seldom if ever feel tired after even a long, steep hike. And gradually as I felt better and stronger, the “should” changed to “want.”

I had heard of people getting addicted to exercise, but never really believed it and certainly never thought that it would happen to me. It can well happen to you too, if you let it.

But don’t believe me. Instead, you might consider doing a little experiment. It will take just a year or two. Start exercising regularly because you know that it’s good for you. See if you don’t gradually exercise because you want to, not because either you or I think that it’s something you should do.

This is all that I have time for now. Gotta go. It’s a beautiful day and I gotta hit the trail. Besides I gotta balance my work with taking care of my body.

I’m going to climb Green Mountain, which I can see almost every day from the windows at my desk and living room. A few days ago I was calling it “White Mountain,” because it was covered with snow. But now it’s sunny and warmer, and most of the snow has melted.

Green Mountain from my Living Room

P.S.: This evening I’m back from the trail. Here’s the view from 8,100 feet at the top of the mountain down to my home in Boulder at 5,400 feet.

Boulder from Green Mountain

This article is based on an earlier version of my article published by HealthCentral.

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  • David Mendosa at

    Your doctor can increase your metformin level to at least 2000 units. Don’t know why your level is so high unless you have a lot of weight to lose or your beta cells are burned out. In any case exercise will reduce your level at that time.

  • bud at

    Dear David I fasted all day except for 3 cups of cofee with splenda and powdered creamer, I took my blood sample and my bg was160! I did not do the treadmill today because of errands. Can the Dr, increase my Metformin and Glipizide? He mentioned before that he could but with bgs so high I am afraid I’ll be back on insulin!

  • David Mendosa at

    Dear Bud,

    That’s possible, but I have certainly never heard that it did.


  • bud at

    Dear Rick, can other stimulants such as Ritalin (which I’m taking for depression), raise bg levels?

  • bud at

    i worked out on the treadmill 3.5 mph for an hour and my bg was 150! it usually goes from 130 to around 100 after exercise but i started smoking and now am chewing 4mg nicotine gumto stop the smoking. is the gum raising my ir?

    • David Mendosa at

      Dear Bud,

      Yes, nicotine is indeed known to increase insulin resistance.


  • David Mendosa at

    Dear Peter,

    I stopped smoking in 1965 and wasn’t diagnosed with diabetes until 1994. So I don’t have any personal experience. Good question about articles on the subject. Haven’t seen any, but I do know that people tend to eat more after kicking the nicotine habit, simply because their sense of taste or smell improves so much.

    Hang in there!


  • peter lemer at

    when you kicked nicotine – did you find that your bg changed as a consequence?
    If so, what did you notice, and are there any articles about this?
    I haven’t smoked for 4 days, my fasting bg has gone up to 9/10% and I wonder is there’s a connection?
    Patrick Holford says that a few cigarettes can lower BG so I would assume that stopping would go in the opposite direction.