Theresa Garnero, APRN, BC-ADM, MSN, CDE
Spring Into Action
Spring has sprung and it’s time for new beginnings. Now that we have more daylight hours, it’s a good time to look at being more active. That’s right, exercise—one of the best ways to manage diabetes and stay healthy in general (providing your doctor hasn’t given you exercise restrictions).
Do you have an emotional readiness or mental commitment to take the next step with a physical fitness plan? It’s never too late to rethink your approach towards being or staying active. And no, I’m not talking about climbing the face of Yosemite’s Half Dome. I’m referring to being consistent in caring for our one and only body, and to having a plan to make sure it happens. The old adage rings true: fail to plan and plan to fail.
As a certified diabetes educator, I’ve heard many reasons people do or don’t exercise. Why not exercise?
· Don’t have time
· I exercise at work
· It’s no fun
· My neighborhood is not safe
· My knees are bad
The “no time” rationale is most common. Whether you are a busy executive, or superwoman mother/wife/community leader, deciding to carve out a little slice of the 24 hour pie to reinvest in yourself is huge. Start by getting up 15 minutes earlier to stretch, do home exercises, or go for a walk. We brush our teeth without giving it much thought, why not turn on the auto-pilot mode with being more active?
Unless you have a physically demanding job that has enough activity to keep your glucose under control, unfortunately the stress at work tends to minimize the benefits of work-related activity. Can you go out for a 10 minute walk with colleagues? Can you park your car further from the office or take the stairs instead of the elevator?
Finding something you enjoy is paramount to success in being regularly active. If walking is a drag, what is it that you enjoy? Find a buddy to join you. Make sure you are wearing proper shoes that support your feet and won’t give you blisters.
The reality of unsafe neighborhoods cannot be ignored. What about a home exercise video or going to another area that is safe? How about an exercise program at a local gym or community center? Physical limitations are an obvious barrier to getting exercise. If you have bum knees, have you thought about pool activities or chair exercises?
· I finally lost weight!
· I feel more energy
· My blood pressure is much better
· I can control my stress
· I’m no longer depressed
· My cholesterol numbers improved
· My blood sugars are lower!
· I got off of my diabetes pills
· I needed less insulin
Our body is a vehicle that takes us through life and a little maintenance does wonders for prolonging its ability and level of functioning. How are you tuning your only mode of transportation? Do you give your body a little time every day or do you not remember the last time you made the effort? What will it take to flip the mental switch in deciding to incorporate being more active on a consistent basis?
Consider Mr. Diabetes®. He has diabetes and he walked 10,000 miles around the United States to raise awareness about diabetes. He is a stellar example about having the right frame of mind to make it possible. He just gave me an excuse to close down this computer and get out for my daily walk.
Thanks Andy! What will you do for your body today?