As someone who has type 2 diabetes, tracking my blood glucose levels is very important.
The problem is … tracking your glucose levels on a daily basis isn’t really enough … at least it’s not enough for me.
Everyone who has diabetes should be getting their A1C tested on a periodic basis. The A1C value represents a 3 month running average of your blood glucose levels. People with well controlled diabetes have an A1C level under 7%. Non-diabetic levels are below 6%. The American Diabetes Association has a good writeup on A1C.
Getting your A1C tested usually means going to your doctors office and having it tested. Sometimes this can be done with a simple finger stick blood test but, often, it requires a full blown blood draw (nobody likes those).
A few months ago a co-worker clued me in to the fact that Bayer had home A1C testing kits … so I picked one up to see how well it worked. It cost around $35 for 2 tests.
The results have been quite informative … back in the summer, when I was riding my bike at least 20 miles per week, my A1c was a 5.8. This is very good for someone with type 2 diabetes. Pretty much non-diabetic levels.
After the weather changed, and I was no longer able to ride, all the real exercise I got was going to the health club.
Even though I was going 2-3 times a week, working out for 45-60 minutes, my A1C was creeping up … 6.3% one month, 6.5% the month after.
My workouts usually consisted of 30 minutes on the elliptical machine doing a “Cardio” workout.
Because of the change in my A1C, I changed my workout to be more aerobic … I used the “Aerobic Cross Training” program. As a result, my A1C dropped down to 6%.
I expect next month’s levels to be 6% or lower.