Make time for a workout, even when its tough.
By Deanna Glick
Editor's Note: While this columnist is no longer writing for dLife.com and we have ceased to update the information contained herein, there is much to be read here that is still applicable to the lives of people with diabetes. If you wish to act on anything you learn here, be sure to consult your doctor first. Please enjoy the column!
August 2008 — Among all the moms I know, I'm probably the most avid exerciser - and that's not saying much. Although I did do a marathon a few years ago, I'm far from being crowned Ms. Fitness. I am fairly healthy, though. I work up a sweat anywhere from zero to four times a week. Most of the time, it's two or three times. We all have reasons and excuses for not getting out for a walk or making it to the gym. Moms blame lack of time, energy, and lack of cooperation from kids as primary reasons for letting workouts fall by the wayside. But really, how many times were those reasons the truth?
Sure, as a mom of a young child who spends 20 hours a week earning money and the rest of those hours on family responsibilities all while managing diabetes, time is short. And for those of you who work double that or more, you may have already written me off. I understand, but stick with me. Here's the deal: I realized the other day - after I finally got my butt back in gear after a few very busy days - that my lack of exercise had nothing to do with my daughter or my work or being tired from managing both in addition to diabetes. For most of us, most of the time, skipping workouts isn't about not having time. It's a mind block of sorts.
I'm willing to go out on a monkey bar and say that seldom are the tasks we supposedly accomplish as a result of skipping exercise worth it. Especially if you are a diabetic mom. Of all the things I do to manage the disease, exercise remains the most effective. The results are immediate, lasting, and significant. An extra unit of insulin can't bring my blood sugar down as fast as a spin on the treadmill (if you don't have one at home, take advantage of the child care at the gym); or a half hour of dancing in the living room with my daughter; or a cruise with the jogging stroller through the park or into town. And the numbers stay that way the next day, even when I flub up a bolus a little bit or split a jumbo cookie with my Sweetie Pie so we can get through the grocery store in peace.
Put down the dust rag, forget the Starbucks stop, turn off the TV, bypass the banter with co-workers in the parking lot before driving home, ignore that Pottery Barn catalog that just came in the mail, and for crying out loud quit surfing the web for potty training tips that you've read over and over again. It's things like this that take up more time than we realize. So let them go, get over the mind block that convinces you 30 minutes to an hour is too much time to spend on a workout and get your butt moving. The glow you'll get when those beautiful blood sugars gleam back at you from your meter will be worth giving up whatever you didn't do instead. And it will most certainly leave you with more stamina to finish that to-do list and keep up with your kids' boundless energy.
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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