I’m two years into my health journey that began with adopting Intermittent Fasting along with a low carb diet to manage Type 2 Diabetes and Hypertension. Since, I’ve adopted a more “no sugar no grains no seed oils” approach, trending mostly carnivore (I.e. eating mostly animal-based products).
While I think it’s safe to say my Diabetes is in remission with an A1C at or below 5.6% for more than a year now, weight down over 110 pounds/50 kilos, and a coronary artery calcium score of zero, I’m not quite out of the woods yet.
Mild hypertension is still an issue for me. Granted it is much better than it was several years ago, but now I know my aorta is “dilated” (i.e. bigger than it should be), and higher blood pressure is not particularly good for that. I’m sure it will come up when I go in for a physical.
Meanwhile, I’ve made one other important change: I’m exercising. More specifically, I’m trying to keep my heart rate in Zone 2, known to provide improvements in endurance. I’ve seen a few methods to calculate this, but I’m going with the Vinnie Tortorich method: 180 minus your age, which means about 134 plus or minus 5 beats.
The exercise I’ve chosen? Running, or walking when my heart rate goes above the Zone 2 range, which happens pretty quickly still. I have a treadmill at home, most hotels I stay in also have a treadmill, and the weather is improving at home. Basically zero excuses not to do this.
At first, I started out using a Mi Band 3 to track my heart rate during workouts and sleep, which worked ok for a bit. Unfortunately, after a recent software update, it sporadically stops syncing with my phone. This eventually lead me to buy something I’ve been wanting for a while now: an Apple Watch. It works a whole lot better:
As I started going longer and further than before (from a couple miles over half an hour to over four miles over an hour and change), I saw a significant decrease in my blood glucose. It got to a point where I asked my doctor if I should continue to take Metformin.
My doctor said I no longer needed to take Metformin, but I should continue to monitor. Which, of course I am doing. My blood glucose has gone back up, but it’s staying in a fairly normal range (averaging about 90 mg/dL) without taking medication.
The exercise really isn’t so much about the physical fitness, though I know that’s improving as well. It’s the emotional fitness. I’m not quite sure how to describe it, but I just feel better after I’ve spent some time sweating with just me, my feet, and whatever podcasts I’m listening to. Which, during my workouts, tend to be health-related podcasts.
I do also find myself thinking lately, when stressed, I should go out for a run. I never in my life thought I’d be saying that, but here we are.