Time to take a Hike

Bank holiday weekend was sublime here. Sun shining and temperatures soaring, it was what we’ve all been waiting for. Definitely not the most sensible day for hiking.

We passed an amazing looking walk a few days ago, near Kingsclere in Hampshire. The views from the road were breath-taking and we couldn’t wait to get back to check it out.

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We decided to wait until some of the heat had left the day before we ventured out.

At 6pm, it was still over 27 degrees. We slathered on factor 40, grabbed our hats, sunglasses and proper footwear. Barry insisted I leave my trusty sandals at home and opt for hiking boots and thick socks. I am very attached to my sandals, which have seen me through some crazy walks. But, on this occasion, I agreed to wear boots as we had no idea what the terrain would be like.

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It was well worth the drive for the views. This was the view from the starting point.

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So many different types of sheep and their babies all over the hill sides and panoramic scenery to make your jaw drop.

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My blood sugars were on target throughout our hike. I owe this to experience of this kind of hiking, my insulin pump and Continuous Glucose Meter (CGM) and some solid planning.

My usual trick is to only do intense exercise when I have little to no bolus on board. This means exercising 4-5 hours after the last meal I took an insulin shot for. Not always possible or necessary, but definitely easier.

Please contact your healthcare provider to work out what’s best for you and don’t copy anything here related to diabetes management. Lecture over . . .

For me, what works best is turning down my basal about an hour before I exercise, to anywhere between 10% and 60%. This depends on exercise type, duration and intensity. Plus, the weather has a huge impact too. Heat will generally make blood sugars go much lower much faster, which was very relevant. After exercise, I also turn my basal down, as exercise keeps acting on blood sugars for many hours. For me, usually between 12 – 24 hours.

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I keep a close eye on my levels throughout hikes, which is where having a Continuous Glucose Meter (CGM) helps. My Dexcom CGM gives me a rough idea of blood sugar direction, rather than a snap shot in time like a blood test. A 5mmol/L result without direction could be fine. If the arrows are pointing down though – jelly babies right now. If they’re stable or pointing up, keep trekking and checking. Same level, completely different response.

CGM and blood test meter together form the perfect Superhero team. I’m surprised Marvel haven’t caught onto this yet! The blood sugar test Superhero for accurate sugar-level snapshots and the CGM Superhero for direction of travel. Which reminds me, we must get Cinema tickets to see the new Avenger’s movie very soon. All I hear are good recommendations.

Back to our hike.

We packed plenty of water and snacks in my trusty pink back-pack. Barry kept reminding me he would not "under any circumstances" be carrying when there is a perfectly good grey one we could have shared. But I love pink! I gave in on wearing hiking boots, but I drew the line when my pink bag was under threat.

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The online guide said the Wayfarer’s route was over 70 miles! It was tempting to keep going and going, but we finally reached a point of realisation. There were still clothes to iron, lunches to pack and dinner to SOURCE or cook. Notice the emphasis on source here. We were shattered!

We reached this beautiful field of rape-flowers and decided to head back the way we came.

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We were facing the sun on the way out and on the way back, we understood why everyone was smiling so much when they had passed us going the other way. It was divine. Fresh, cool breeze in our face and sun on our back. This was the peak of the weekend.

The air was so fresh and clean. Nothing like the smog up in London. I swear Barry was filling his pockets with clean air to take with him the next day!

We made it home and had walked 4.8 miles. This meant we could hit 5 miles with a short trip to the local Indian. I mean this was necessary to hit our target you understand?

My dinner came to a grand total of £3.95. I usually order a side-dish of vegetables in spices, which comes with chickpeas, a few potatoes and plenty of veggies. Great square meal and perfect for blood sugar balance as it’s only a moderate amount of carbs.

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So pleased to have found such a wonderful walk. I hope you guys enjoyed your weekends.

*This is not a sponsored post.*