Monday, March 12, 2012

Uninterrupted Sitting

Odd title for a post, I know, but I'm just not that creative.

When I was pregnant with the Pious One, I was working at a desk job. One unfortunate consequence of this kind of work is that I spent a lot of time sitting, uninterrupted except for walking to and from the restroom and to and from the kitchen for snacks. I tried to compensate for this relative inactivity by rising early in the morning (5:30a) to go for a 2-or-so-mile run. I did this until I was 28 weeks pregnant and put on precautionary bed rest for two weeks. Unfortunately, even with the morning exercise, and particularly so after the morning exercise routine was abandoned, I struggled with high blood sugars after breakfast all throughout that pregnancy. Despite excellent A1Cs, those high 2-hour post-breakfast blood sugars were a major thorn in my side.

According to this new study, postprandial blood sugars in diabetic adults may benefit from periods of light or moderate activity (they used walking, but I imagine many different kinds of activity would suffice) to interrupt long periods of sitting.

I love it when I read research that confirms my anecdotal experience, because it makes the science seem that much more believable! In this case, I have noticed that 2-hour post-breakfast readings during my last two pregnancies, and this one in particular, have been much easier to manage. The reason I'm beginning to suspect, partly on the basis of this research? Because I'm chasing around a toddler or two all morning. I wish I could say I'd figured out a way to work regular exercise into my life as a mother to two children under the age of 3 (I haven't), but apparently the consistent activity of picking up a two-year-old, putting down a one-year-old, getting them dressed, fetching breakfast, toting laundry up and down the stairs, and changing diapers has been enough to keep the problem subdued.

I've noticed this contrast particularly on two Saturday mornings when my husband took on the childcare responsibilities. On both days, I slept in and sat on the couch all morning while my husband picked up toys, washed dishes, and broke up sibling fights. The result was that my blood sugars, two afters after breakfast, were well over 200!

So, taking care of my kids is apparently good for more than just distracting me from tending
to low blood sugars, it's actually helping to keep them where they should be. Hooray for babies!

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