Diabetics are encouraged to exercise regularly, and check in with your doctor periodically to review your exercise plan. Here are six tips to help you get started on your workout plan:
1. If you are just starting out, try 10 minutes a day and gradually work up to 30 minutes. Walk around the block at lunch, or take the stairs to the next floor rather than the elevator. Make every step count!
2. Take a walk before you go to work, or during the day. Walk around the block with a co-worker, do stretching exercises at your desk during a quick break, walk that proposal over to the next building instead of sending for a courier. Find little ways during the day to stretch your legs and strengthen your resolve!
3. Bring a change of clothes. All you need are comfortable clothes and well-fitting shoes. No one is going to notice that your sweats are 10 years old, or that your T-shirt has a picture of Jefferson Airplane on it. Get comfortable and get going!
4. If group exercise isn't for you, pick an activity that you can do alone. Walking around your neighborhood, walking on a treadmill in your home, or doing video aerobics are just a few suggestions. The nice thing about exercise is that you don't need an audience!
5. Exercise doesn't have to hurt. Pick something that does not traditionally cause muscle soreness, like swimming. Make sure your warm up and stretch before and after any exercise. Start slow and make sure to cool down afterwards.
6. If you have problem knees, try something that does not include high impact, such as swimming or yoga. Tai Chi or other low impact exercises that promote core strengthening and flexibility are also good choices.
The first step to starting an effective exercise program is acknowledging the barriers that are keeping you from getting started, and finding creative ways to deal with them. Start with baby steps: even small steps will eventually get you there!
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|