Going to the gym is such a hassle – a hassle that most of us can talk ourselves out of pretty quickly. I am pretty sure I have been able to find a reason every Monday not to go for a while now. It’s an expense, it’s time consuming and let’s be honest – our DVR is waiting. Making the gym or working out a priority won’t only actually save you money in the long run, it might also save your life. Working out can help you manage your diabetes – especially if you are required to manage it with diet and exercise. Eating right is only one component of that equation.
The Skinny on getting Skinny
We live in a world that is absolutely body obsessed. No one is skinny enough – the next day its love the body you are in. But what happens when the body you are in is fighting back with some awful side effects and is losing the ability to function. You just can’t love that. So how do we fix it? By losing the weight that is causing our bodies to fail and lose function. Its really a lot like taking a car and stuffing it full of heavy stuff (stuff that you might haul in a truck instead) and driving it around – continuously. Its no big deal at first – nothing is going wrong. But then your brakes start to squeal. They aren’t designed to handle that much weight. Then your engine starts to fail part by part. It runs sluggish – but it still runs. So do you empty the car and try to save it? Or just keep going until the car just gives out? I really hope you chose the first option because the car is your body and the “stuff” is your weight. You can still save the car – you just need to start unloading the “stuff”.
According to the National Institute of Health:
“Physical activity also helps the hormone insulin absorb glucose into all your body’s cells, including your muscles, for energy. Muscles use glucose better than fat does. Building and using muscle through physical activity can help prevent high blood glucose. If your body doesn’t make enough insulin, or if the insulin doesn’t work the way it should, the body’s cells don’t use glucose. Your blood glucose levels then get too high, causing diabetes.”
What to know about exercise before you start
First things first – you HAVE to talk to your medical team. Your doctor, your dietician, your team. Making sure you manage your physical activity plan to prevent complications is the number one goal. You don’t want to try to fix one thing and break another.
Talk with your health care team
Find an exercise buddy
Decide how you’ll track your physical activity
Decide how you’ll reward yourself
All of these steps are important – including the last. You are doing this to save your life – but what kind of life is it if there are no rewards? Of course eating an entire chocolate cake isn\’t the best option – but there are some great options out there – maybe seeing a movie on opening night or a spa day to pamper yourself. The sky is the limit once you reach your goals.
Remember: even just taking 10-20 lbs off can help your body manage your insulin better – so every little bit helps.