It's important to be active when you have diabetes. In addition to lowering your blood glucose level, exercise can ease stress and help you lose extra weight. So what's stopping you? Here's a look at six common obstacles to exercises and how you can get motivated to move.
1. I don't have time to exercise.
Ideally, you should be moving at a moderate pace for 30 minutes most days of the week. But if you're overwhelmed with work, school, or family activities, find little pockets of time whenever you can. Park farther away in the parking lot. Take the stairs, instead of the elevator. Walk around the field while the kids are playing a game. Be creative and fit in exercise. Those little moments of movement add up.
2. I don't know what exercises to do.
You don't need to join a gym or find a personal trainer. Simply start out by going for a walk. Begin with a 5-minute walk and slowly build from there. There are also free exercise videos you can find online. Or you can join an exercise class at a church or community center.
3. It's too cold/hot/rainy/whatever.
Who says you have to go outside to exercise? Walk laps in your house or walk up and down the stairs. Play an active video game like Wii Fit. Put on some music and dance around your house. Go to the mall or find a high school or YMCA with an indoor track and walk in comfort.
4. It hurts to exercise.
See your health care provider to find the source of your pain. Make sure there's not an underlying problem that needs treatment. If you get the OK to start moving, then find non-impact exercises -- like swimming, biking, and using elliptical machines. Look for exercise videos specifically made for people who have pain.
5. I can't stick with it.
Get an exercise buddy to walk with or take fitness classes together. When someone else is depending on you to go for a hike, workout, or ride bikes, you'll be less likely to come up with an excuse. The two of you will hold each other accountable, so you won't want to let each other down.
6. I'm just not motivated.
Sometimes just knowing that exercise is helping you fight diabetes isn't enough to get you off the couch. So, find some other motivation. Do you want to look great in a swimsuit for vacation? Do you want to feel good to dance at a wedding? Or think of a non-food reward -- like a massage or a movie -- and treat yourself when you've exercised every day for a whole week.