Diabetes Tip #421: Join a Dance Troupe


This weekend, I made an amazing discovery: if you want to control your blood sugar, you should dance.

To elaborate: last week I decided that the best way to deal with the emotional mess that has been this summer, I should join a no audition dance troupe for 30+ year-old women. I mean, hell. I’ve been taking cardio hip hop classes for a year or so now and every once in a while I entertain fantasies of performing a dance on stage. It’s unclear what the motivation behind this fantasy is, since I don’t think I’m a particularly great dancer, and I also have stage fright. But I find it very satisfying to stand in the back row, watch the teacher, and pretend that he is me. Seriously, try it.

So when said dance teacher sent out an invitation to this special older ladies troupe, I thought fuck it. Why not? And so I spent much of last week trying to memorize a dance routine set to the Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow.”  It culminated in a Sunday afternoon performance in front of a crowd of several hundred people. Yes, I forgot a couple of moves. But other than that it was great.

What does this have to do with diabetes? A lot. Turns out that spending two + hours a day popping and locking does help your blood sugar. I’m no stranger to exercise — I try to work out at least five times a week — but there’s something different about dancing. It’s low impact (and entertaining) enough that you don’t really realize that you’re being really physically active. But then you test your blood sugar and notice that it’s dropped 80 points.

I wish that were the case right now — today I have eaten plain yogurt, strawberries and a cabbage and chicken salad and my blood sugar is currently refusing to dip beneath 200, despite the fact that I rode my bike to my office and spent my lunch hour walking around. Perhaps my body has now adapted to my new lifestyle as a professional dancer and is refusing to utilize its insulin until I start shaking my butt.

There’s only one way to find out. . . .

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