Depending on the day (and the person), ‘exercise’ can be a rather exhausting task versus a welcomed activity. However, we know how important it is for our overall health – especially for those that have diabetes.
Your Care Team at NOAH note that being active provides huge benefits to your body from:
- Lowering blood glucose (sugar).
- Lowering cholesterol.
- Lowering blood pressure.
- Helping with weight loss.
- Improving overall mood.
You don’t have to be obsessive about exercise to reap the benefits. Learn a few strategies to help you become more active as part of your diabetes management plan that are doable and keep you moving in the right direction.
Find your motivation
Create your future by first identifying what you want to achieve by staying active. Maybe you want to be able to play with your grandchildren without getting tired or loosing your breath? Do you want to lose weight, improve your blood glucose level or reduce your cholesterol? Start by writing your goals down. Create a separate section for things that are challenging for you like getting out of a chair or maybe climbing the staircase. After several weeks of being active, we want you to try those challenges again and pay attention to see if they have gotten any easier. Are they still difficult tasks or can you remove them from your list and maybe add new ones?
As you become active, wear supportive shoes and clothes that are appropriate for the activity you are doing. Always keep your medical identification information with you and make sure you carry water and sunscreen (if you’ll be outside). Since activity can affect your blood glucose, check it regularly and be prepared to manage it by bringing food with you. I bring granola bars and glucose tabs with me. You can ask your NOAH Care Team for ideas so that you are successful right out of the gate!
Ease into activity if it’s been a while. You don’t want to overdue it and get hurt. Start by doing 5-10 minutes at a time. Maybe split your time up throughout the day and gradually increase as you feel more comfortable with activity. A good goal is 150 minutes per week. You will want to update your Care Team of how it’s going. They may suggest adjusting your time or activities based off your discussion.
Keep it simple
If running is your thing, hit the treadmill or take a spinning class. If working out is boring, read or listen to music while exercising to help pass the time. For some, outdoors is the best form of activity. Gardening or walking the dog are great ways to keep active. Take a yoga class with your friends or maybe try water aerobics? Having an activity partner is a great way to hold each other accountable.
Sneak in more activity
In addition to your new activity scheduled, move even more by sneaking in more exercise without even noticing it. Park farther away from the store, take several trips to bring the groceries in the house or even try walking during the work hours. I like to have ‘walking meetings’ with colleagues to avoid sitting in a chair for an hour. Instead, get on your favorite pair of walking shoes and take a scenic walk while brainstorming.
Track your progress
If you like to write stuff down, add your activities to your calendar (don’t forget to include the exercise and length of time spent moving). If paper isn’t always handy, try using a pedometer, smart watch or other device that measures your heart rate and activity level for each day. I love my smart watch because it gives me a ‘week in review’ so I can challenge myself each week to move more than the previous week.
Sometimes you need a friend to help hold you accountable. It’s a great way to catch up with them while getting in your activity. A great story to share can really pass the time while your taking a walk in the park. Maybe you want to try a yoga class and want a friend to join you. This is a great way to stay engaged and get in your activity at the same time.
Get in shape without pain
If your activity is causing you pain, stop and try something else. I love yoga and tai chi. These exercises are slower and focus on movement rather than vigorous activity. Your Care Team at NOAH can help you find activities that help you get in shape without pain.
Regular activity is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy. Along with a balanced diet, exercise will help you manage your diabetes.
Learn a few strategies to help you become more active as part of your #diabetes management plan which can in turn help lower your blood sugar and cholesterol while improving your mood. Your Care Team at NOAH will work with you and your #family to choose the best path for overall #health and #wellness. To schedule an apt., please call 480-882-4545! #counseling #behavioralhealth #familypractice #pediatrics #communityresources #prenatalservices #nutrition #NationalHealthyWeightWeek #HealthyWeightWeek