How to Increase Physical Activity

Set realistic goals for yourself. It’s unrealistic to believe you will lose twenty-five pounds the first month of your diabetic food plan, and just as unrealistic to believe that you will run five miles a day, every day, for the rest of your life. Consider your age, gen­eral physical condition, and weight and then make a plan and stick to it. Do not consider the amount of time you have in which to engage in physical activity because you are going to make time for it. You might get away with “I just haven’t had the time” as an excuse to your boss for being late with a project, but you can’t get away with it when your own health is at stake.

If you decide that you are going to walk a half hour or two miles five days a week, choose a route in the neighborhood where you live or work, and scout out a pleasant hiking trail for an alternative to your usual route. Choose a time that’s most con­venient for you (it doesn’t have to be the same time every day) and do it. Just as you will not let yourself be talked into eating what you choose not to eat, don’t let yourself be talked out of sticking to your exercise program (“I’d love to go to a movie, but I have to finish up my work and then take my walk. I could meet you at . . .”).

Physical Activity

Some people like to exercise with another person or in a group. This is one way to maintain your physical fitness regimen because if you have paid for an aerobics class, you’re less likely to skip it, and if you make a date to play tennis or handball during lunch or right after work, you won’t want to be rude or disap­point your partner.

If you get bored doing the same kind of exercise every day, don’t. There’s no reason why you can’t vary your physical activity (the jocks call it cross training) by walking twice a week, bicycling with a club every other Saturday, and swimming at your health club on Mondays and Thursdays—or any combination of activi­ties, in any order, that pleases you.

Consider your exercise program an absolute obligation to yourself. It is as important to controlling your diabetes as follow­ing your food plan, taking your insulin or oral hypoglycemics, and having your eyes checked every year. Be good to yourself.

Don’t forget to reward yourself every now and then for stick­ing to your exercise program. Get a professional massage, buy a new outfit, soak in a hot tub – again, whatever pleases you. And don’t forget to always wear shoes that are in good condition. Check the heels and soles of all your shoes regularly, especially the ones you use for exercise, to see that they are not worn down. If they are, have them repaired or buy new ones. Proper shoes are important to everyone but especially diabetics because they protect the feet, which are particularly affected by peripheral neuropathy.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care


About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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