Exercise and Being Active: What Do You Have to Lose?
Besides changing how I eat, getting on a regular exercise regimen has been key to controlling my glucose numbers and getting healthier. I won’t lie, it hasn’t been easy. There are still days when I am just tired and don’t want to do it. I try to make a rule for myself: exercise for just 5 or 10 minutes. If I want to stop after that, I can. What I find is that I rarely stop after the 5 or 10 minutes, and I usually go quite a bit longer. Personal trainers are also great at keeping the motivation up.
You don’t have to have a trainer to be accountable, though. Find a friend or join an exercise class or other fitness program–something where someone will notice if you are not there and where you can get support from others who are trying to be active and healthy, too. Exercise will do wonders for your glucose levels. It’s amazing to me how exercising in the morning actually seems to have an effect for several hours. I can definitely see a difference on the days I exercise compared to the days that I don’t.
- Start small if you haven’t been regularly active for awhile. Any movement is better than none, so do what you can when you can.
- Do simple things, like parking further away from the door when you are out running errands, or take an extra lap around the mall when you are out shopping.
- Be sure to warm up before your workout and stretch after.
- If you want to walk for exercise, consider using a pedometer so you can track how far you go. There are also a number of free apps you can get for your phone that will help with tracking your activity.
- Use music to help keep you motivated and make your exercise time more enjoyable.
- Do stretches or balancing exercises in front of the TV. Do laps around the living room or pushups during commercials–anything to throw a little extra movement into your day.
- If you can’t make it to a class regularly, pick up a couple of exercise DVDs or find an online video. There are some great ones out there.
- If your doctor says it’s okay, yoga is a great option. Stretching, strengthening, and some calming breathing can help you feel better, both mentally and physically. Read this blog post for more information on yoga!
- Don’t do the same exercise two days in a row–mix it up. Do some balance, some strength, some cardio. Find a fun activity, such as playing tag or a lively game of Frisbee with your kids.
- Make an exercise appointment with yourself. I know it can be hard to fit it in to a busy schedule, but there are ways to squeeze it in. You will be so much better able to take care of those you love if you are also taking care of yourself.
- Check your glucose levels before, during, and after your activity, so you know how it affects you and you can time your meals and snacks accordingly.
You can be active and healthy. You’ll feel better, look better, and if you are looking to take off a few pounds, exercise will definitely help you reach your goals. Try it! I think you’ll find that once exercise is part of your regular routine, you’ll miss it when you don’t do it. Remember: Be smart. Be healthy. Live YOUR life!
Disclaimer Statement: This is for educational purposes only and not intended as medical advice. For individual medical advice, contact your healthcare practitioner.