Much Ado About Exercise (Continued)
Making it Happen
So… lovely. You know you need to do this thing. But how to get started? And how to keep going once you've been at it for a week or two?
First off, you'll want to remove any barriers that keep you from exercising. This might mean building a time slot into your schedule (i.e. treating exercise like a work assignment), buying yourself sturdy new shoes to avoid injuries, or working up a plan to gradually increase exertion -- so you don't push too hard or get frustrated right away. Think about your own barriers. How can you remove them?
If it's simply a matter of not being motivated, Dr. Peters has a great suggestion: distract yourself. She says she actually hates exercise, but she gets on her treadmill several nights a week and watches TV, which she only does then. "Otherwise I spend every minute exercising thinking about when I'm going to be done," she admits. Now I personally jog with a Walkman. No barriers, as all I need are shoes and a sports bra, and I can focus on the scenery and the songs. I try not to think about what my feet are doing.
It's also helpful to think in terms of goals and rewards. Keep it humble. A goal might be to jog past the first bench to the second one tomorrow. A reward might be a massage or a pedicure or a new book. (Rewards shouldn't be edible!)
Finally, keep it real. We've all heard the official recommendations that seem to grow each year: 5x a week for an hour, 38 minutes or 4,400 steps a day, and so on. This may be a turn-off and totally unrealistic for you. Maybe you can only manage 3x a week for 30 minutes. That's great, as long as you stick with it! Don't let anyone convince you it's not enough. Do what you can. If there's ever been a case where something is better than nothing, it's moving your body!
Read more about Amy Tenderich.
dLife's Viewpoints columnists are not all medical experts, but everyday people living with diabetes and sharing their personal experiences, most often at a set point in time. While their method of diabetes management may work for them, everyone is different. Please consult with your diabetes care team before acting on anything you read here to find out what will work best for you.
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