Contributor: Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDE, CDN
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This article was originally posted at Susan Weiner's Healthy Bytes Blog
You’ve probably heard it a million times… “exercise is good for you”. In fact, your doctor or diabetes educator might have told you about the perks of regular physical activity: Exercise can help you lose weight, reduce your stress and lower your risk of heart disease. Did you also know that regular physical activity can help to control your blood glucose levels? If you have type 2 diabetes, exercise may reduce your need for certain medications. It’s true!
But with so much to do every day, how can you fit in exercise too? Have no fear! With a little organization and proper planning, you’ll start to move and get into the organizing groove. Start small and before you know it you’ll be able to fit exercise into your routine. Exercise may help you improve your blood glucose control, lower your blood pressure and improve your mental focus. Let’s get started!
Here are 5 tips to fit exercise into your schedule:
- Determine What Days of the Week Work Best for You; If you just started an exercise program, try to schedule your workouts on alternate days. You may even exercise in the mornings on certain days and in the afternoon or evenings on other days. Do what works best for you!
- Start Slow: If exercise is new for you, don’t plan hour-long sessions five times a week. Try to walk (with your doctor’s permission) for just 10 minutes to start. If you lift weights (and use proper form), you may eventually feel more toned. Keep going! You’ll get stronger every day.
- Treat Exercise Like an Appointment: Schedule your exercise like you would a haircut or manicure. Write it in your planner or put it in your phone or on an app. Physical activity is one appointment that you need to keep!
- Mix it Up!: Create a routine where you do different exercises on different days. Do cardio activity (such as walking, biking or swimming) on some days and weight training on other days. Do you want to do something different? Dance to some of your favorite tunes or try using a hula hoop. What a great way to keep your exercise fresh and fun.
- Keep an Exercise Log: Write down how much you exercise. Record your blood glucose levels before, during and after workouts. Your blood glucose levels can drop hours after you work-out. So, test your blood glucose levels often when you exercise.
ALWAYS check with your doctor before starting any exercise program. You don’t have to go to a gym to stay physically active. If you enjoy going to the gym, that’s terrific! But you can take a walk with an exercise buddy, climb the stairs at work or simply park your car further away from your destination.
For tips on how exercise can fit into your busy schedule please refer to my book “The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life“, Spry Publishing 2013.
Susan Weiner, MS, RDN, CDE, CDN, resides in New York and is the founder of Susan Weiner Nutrition, where she practices as a nutritionist and exercise physiologist. She is also a published author two popular diabetes resource books,“The Complete Diabetes Organizer: Your Guide to a Less Stressful and More Manageable Diabetes Life” (Spry Publishing, 2013) and “Diabetes: 365 Tips for Living Well ~ Expert Advice to Help You Thrive Each Day” (Demos Health, 2015), as well as dozens of nutrition-related articles online and in magazines.