Tip of the Week: Exercise is Your Best Friend

By GabbyPA Latest Reply 2015-09-28 09:57:44 -0500
Started 2011-08-12 10:58:15 -0500

So many of us before we were diagnosed thought of exercise as the thing that you think of doing, but just never seemed to find the time. Now, after diagnosis, we are constantly trying to find ways to add exercise to our schedule or ways to make it more challenging to work better for our goals.

The thing that I learned as to why exercise is so important is that because when we are exercising our bodies do not require insulin to get the sugars out of our blood stream and into our muscles and cells where it needs to be. This is often why after exercise our levels tend to drop.

This is the gold ticket quite often that we kind of put off or delay. We should really use this tool to our benefit. Here are some things that I have done to get myself more active.

1. Build up to an exercise goal. Start with just 5 min a day for 3-4 days a week if you have to. Build it up to about 45 min 3-4 times a day. Talk to your doctor and work on a plan together.

2. Choose an exercise that you enjoy. You are more likely to do it.

3. Change things up or change scenery. If you walk, go to a new park. If you to exercise at home, maybe try a new DVD or routine.

4. Don't let physical limitations stop you. There are so many things you can do, the thing is to just get moving. Even a little makes a big difference.

5. Test before you exercise. If you are above 300 or below 100 you need to adjust your levels before going out.

6. Take a friend, take your cell phone, take your emergency packet, and be ready for the unexpected.

7. Most of all, have fun. If it's not fun, you won't do it. Keep it fun, and keep it going.

121 replies

urquidi2015 2015-09-25 20:27:49 -0500 Report

I must say, I never used to care for the idea of exercise. But since diagnosed T2, I now exercise five days a week.
I get motivated by just feeling really GO OD right after (stinky and all - LOL). I watch recorded programs while exercising and before I know it, an hour is up
. I can't explain it more than this… it makes me fell soooo good after.

GabbyPA 2015-09-28 09:57:44 -0500 Report

Exercise releases endorphin and that makes you happy. Its a weird thing, but it is what can really keep you motivated. I used to hate exercise...it was a lot like work. If I was doing something like hiking or camping, I was good to get exercise, but never "structured exercise".

Like you, that has changed since diagnosis. I have worked my way up to walking 7 days a week, resistance training 2 days a week and swimming 2 days a week. I thought I might get to where I didn't want to walk after my swimming, but I find the swimming invigorates me and the walk is very enjoyable. I know I need to be doing more, but I will work up to it. I make these things my new "normal" and then add some more. It is kind of fun to compete with hubby too. LOL

Kalisiin 2015-07-23 06:26:04 -0500 Report

Let me say this: There a lots of apps on cell phones these days for tracking exercise. If you are a stats junkie, like me…this alone will help get and keep you motivated.

GabbyPA 2015-07-24 10:48:53 -0500 Report

My pedometer keeps me pumping. It showed me how little I was actually doing when I thought I was doing okay. Now I get way more walking in daily and it really has helped. Like yesterday I burned over 600 calories just walking...yeah me!

Kalisiin 2015-07-24 14:37:11 -0500 Report

Yay, you!!
I have a minimum goal of 400 calories a day, and have gotten over 700 some days. Generally, I end up around 500.

GabbyPA 2015-07-24 14:48:28 -0500 Report

That is great. My goal is steps right now. My walking burns more the faster I walk, but sometimes the dogs want to just sniff. LOL

debcox 2014-08-25 11:36:39 -0500 Report

Thanks Gabby, I really liked your post especially being new to diabetes. Since I exercise early, my levels are taken right before I leave and I do take either a friend/phone (mostly both) and my emergency packet. I'm loving riding early in the morning and my levels and weight are both decreasing.

GabbyPA 2014-08-26 08:17:25 -0500 Report

That is great to hear. It was good for me to revisit this post as well....sometimes we forget what used to work as we continue to experiment.

Anonymous 2013-01-08 10:40:19 -0600 Report

These three are the main videos, that I do everyday. Not all are suitable for everyon.

http://youtu.be/R4gXOTHUm7o,, http://youtu.be/_UabUNrjSE4,, http://youtu.be/F2lTkx1FXC0

Nana_anna 2013-01-08 10:40:47 -0600 Report

From Nana_anna

jayabee52 2013-01-08 14:57:51 -0600 Report

do you know Anna, that you can remove the Annon designation? Click "edit" below the post mistakenly marked annon and when the page comes back again you'll see a check box below which says "post annonymously" uncheck that box and click edit reply and WaLa, your name reappears!

Nana_anna 2013-01-08 10:28:38 -0600 Report

I have mentioned that I have picked up on doing Tae Bo, with Billy Blanks, low impact aerobics, and dancing. I do this four to five times a week. However, this week I have to sit out, due to my blood pressure sky rocketing! I am watching my diet closely. Hahaha!

debcox 2014-08-25 11:38:30 -0500 Report

Are you still doing your Tae Bo? That is too much for me. I am doing Jillian Michaels "Body Revolution."

Tony5657 2013-01-08 06:35:35 -0600 Report

Gabby started a very valuable discussion called:
Diabetes Remission Possible with Diet, Exercise By GabbyPA

Thanks Gabby! It worked for me.

tabby9146 2014-08-29 08:26:08 -0500 Report

it has worked for me too. a nurse told me my A1C a few yrs ago and said I as in like a remission but I would not always stay that way well I have for a few yrs now at least I think so, my numbers are pretty much the same, A1C still the same, and I exercise daily. Exercise truly is you're best friend!

CJ55 2013-01-08 10:13:01 -0600 Report

Good Morning Tony… Thanks for the helpful advice. I have several bad health reasons that make it very difficult for me to even walk. I have had 5 surgeries in the past 2 years and I am now finally getting better. I LOVE the pool. I was a water aerobics instructor for 4 years and I am very much looking forward to getting back into the pool. For those people who have a difficult time walking or jogging, the pool is wonderful. Just walking laps in a pool will be very beneficial for anyone. It takes a lot to get that first step going, but once I do I enjoy going. Have a wonderful day. Hugz CJ

Nana_anna 2013-01-08 10:26:40 -0600 Report

Me to CJ55, I can move much better in the water than on land! I loved going to aquatics last year. But it was a small pool, and it was way to crowded for me. I still love it! Now I do Tae Bo, on my good days.

CJ55 2013-01-08 12:07:17 -0600 Report

Hello Nana.. I loved doing Tae Bo, unfortunately I cannot do that on land anymore. However, when I am in the pool I do a lot of Tae Bo movements. Our indoor pool is usually crowded in the daytime, so we (my hubby & I) go in the evenings just after dinner or around 8ish. Usually we don't have anyone in the pool and if there is, it is usually just 1 person. My struggle is after I get out. My back is very sore and I have a hard time getting dressed and moving around by myself. But I keep plugging at it. Try going to the pool at a different time. That may work out for you.

debcox 2014-08-26 10:13:11 -0500 Report

Hello, CJ55. I'm glad that you still go to the pool even though it is a struggle. I do a workout every day, though I can't do a couple of the exercises I still try. I was showing my grandson one of the exercises that I could not do and was explaining why I couldn't do it and he asked what was different about how I did it and how the video showed how to do it. So I showed him again and then said "Well, by cracky, I can do it!!!" It amazes me some of the things that I can do if I try. I think there is a quote about this, "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right."

Tony5657 2013-01-08 06:18:27 -0600 Report

My wife gave me an Honorary DA degree for being a Dumb A$$. LOL She calls me that when I go out on my daily, very fast (power walk?) 50 minute walk in freezing weather. When I return, she says "Hey, Dr. DA, how'd it go?" I reply, by telling her … well, … never mind, you don't want to know that. LOL ;o)

Seriously, about 2 years ago a Dr. said I had high blood pressure & was heading toward diabetes so he gave me a couple of prescriptions. I took 2 or 3 pills, then did some research & learned exercise & diet can fix lots of things, like high blood pressure & pre-diabetes and for me, it has. My blood glucose & blood pressure are now normal. By the way, I'm a 68 year old "DA", no spring chicken by any means. :o)

The following is what has worked and is working for me. I've combined my daily walking, with riding my stationary bike with a 5.5 lb. hand dumbbell in each hand for my arms, and a diabetic friendly diet and it's REALLY rewarding & working for this ol' guy! The exercises and diet have actually become fun for me because I can see and feel the positive results. I look forward to this daily regimen because I actually feel & think better! I've learned that I have to think, then ACT myself into a new, better way of feeling rather than just a sittin' on me arse, gripin' & thinkin'. :o) This has also helped reduce my stress level and depression tremendously. (We have a mentally & physically handicapped 25 year old who causes us lots of stress.)

I'll admit that all of the above wasn't fun at first, but I kept on keeping on and soon it became not only fun but rewarding and it still is. It's amazing what our body can do when we treat it as we should. A totally sedentary lifestyle is not healthy. To those of you with various physical challenges, ya gotta start and do what you can, increasing gradually. I promise you, you'll soon start enjoying the exercises & you'll become a healthier, happier, & better overall person, physically & mentally. You can doooooooo it, my friends! :o)

Tony5657 in New Braunfels, TX

Susannah 2013-01-07 13:16:42 -0600 Report

I hate exercise. It is totally no-productive. I hate being hot, sweaty, dirty. I have nothing to show for it and it is mind-numblingly boring.

Help! Exercise is my worst friend and it is a total downer.

GabbyPA 2013-01-08 19:47:11 -0600 Report

But if you enjoy anything that is an activity it is better than nothing. I'm not a fan of sweating unless I am getting dirty in the garden. Swimming is my preferred exercise. But because I cannot do that all the time, I chose to walk. Even just going window shopping with a friend at the mall is better than sitting on the couch.

Nana_anna 2013-01-08 10:30:51 -0600 Report

I love that part of it. The rewards are awesome if you keep it up. Soon you will get used to the sweat! That's what we have to do. When I am hot and sweaty, I take a quick shower soon afterwards or a soaking bath.

Dev 2013-01-07 13:56:41 -0600 Report

I guess one way to get over hatred of exercise is to not look at it as exercise. Add activities to my day that seem normal and enjoyable and not just getting on a machine and get sweaty. For example I go for morning or afternoon walks to the park then go to the small cafe there and come back with the coffee. consider it as a coffee break than a compulsory exercise.

I also take stairs wherever possible, walk through the door that is farther away in a mall and stuff like that. I am also planning to get a bicycle and go to the grocery store everyday to get small stuff rather than going on the weekend and getting everything in bulk. It needs to get a bit warmer for it though. Basically I con myself into activity that feels like I am doing it for something else.

Another thing that worked for me is doing it as part of a group. The yoga class really felt good and now in the break doing Yoga with family works better than doing it alone.

JSJB 2013-01-07 04:56:00 -0600 Report

My main exercise is stationary biking. I try to get atleast 2 miles or 10 min at a time. My problem is I get boared. I tried everything but no use. I do belong to a gym so I will go back to walking 40 min 3 times a week and biking. Actually if I made a NY resolution that is what it would be, to exercise more.

Susannah 2013-01-07 13:25:07 -0600 Report

This is the hughest problem with exercise - it is mind numblingly boring and typically produces nothing but sweat and pain. There's got to be a better way.

JSJB 2013-01-08 03:44:42 -0600 Report

Sorry, if there was an easier way I would have it. I was never a exercise nut but to keep healthy it took this condition to wake me up. I do not go overboard on the exercise routine but I am doing more now than I did in the past. You need a distraction to over come the boredom and mine is watching GH and before you know it I have an hour of walking or biking. I just retired a month ago so now I have 8 extra hours to find something to do. Winter time is the worst but summer will be here soon. Keep trying and you will get use to it and then enjoy it expecially when you see the results. Good Luck

tootsma 2012-04-06 06:57:49 -0500 Report

I really need motivatin,sometimes i dance but my back hurts to bad to walk far any tips?

GabbyPA 2013-01-07 11:22:53 -0600 Report

There are some great videos here and on Youtube that will deal with exercising while sitting. You may also like to do swimming. Less stress on joints and it should help you back more that walking.

Nana_anna 2013-01-08 10:32:32 -0600 Report

This is true! This is where I get Tae Bo from, Jane Fonda has a low impact walking video, just type in low impact aerobics and it will come up.

Sam Stokes
Sam Stokes 2012-02-10 09:40:19 -0600 Report


Sam Stokes
Sam Stokes 2012-02-13 13:10:17 -0600 Report


Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2012-02-10 12:41:21 -0600 Report

Used my porch swing for exercise when West Nile Virus had me messed up. Made my legs feel so much better. It was the only way I could move without hurting more at the time.

buffylrichie 2012-02-10 08:48:45 -0600 Report

Does anyone have a problem with exercise, muscle tone and energy? I exercise everyday, and stretch but, it's like I loose energy and muscle everyday. And let's not mention the pinched nerve behind my knee that goes up the back of my leg!! Uggg :(

Abby888 2011-10-04 23:15:40 -0500 Report

Exercise is great but remember not to over due it. I learned this lesson the hard way this week when I went from walking for 30 mins to taking a 60 min walk. Little did I know that I did some serious damage to my right foot. I now have a severely sprained foot and I am in a walking boot for a while. And because I am diabetic it will take longer to heal. So exercise (to your ability) but be careful out there :)

Bamberg 2012-02-22 23:25:40 -0600 Report

I was walking 3 miles a day, then one day I decided to walk 6 miles. The next day I couldn't walk at all. It's easy to overdo it.

jigsaw 2012-04-06 07:10:48 -0500 Report

I find walking does wonders! Keeps the blood glucose (bg) in check. Gets the metabolism cranking, and I feel better afterwards, all day.

Bogy 2011-08-19 09:45:10 -0500 Report

Gabby,I'm another PA'er(near the Poconoes).I have this mind set.Know I should be more active but it remains a thought-no action. Bogy

GabbyPA 2011-08-22 06:00:52 -0500 Report

I'm sorry to disappoint you (this has happened before) the PA next to my name means Patient Advocate...sadly, I am not from Pennsylvania. I have family there, but I have never lived there. LOL

still smiling
still smiling 2011-08-16 19:06:26 -0500 Report

Don't forget about exercising to great music…Listening to music I enjoyed during my much younger era (smile) really helps to keep me motivated. In my mind I am once again that age it's wonderful…still smiling it works for me

DeanaG 2012-01-23 23:48:35 -0600 Report

I set up iHeart radio on my iPhone today and listened to music while I walked. Definitely made it more enjoyable and easier to do more!!

GabbyPA 2011-08-17 20:15:08 -0500 Report

That would be sweatin' to the oldies for me...yikes!

dIDYMUS 2011-09-30 22:53:47 -0500 Report

That would be me. I feel bad because I used to go the gym, workout, swim etc. Until I got the diabetes dx. Actually I had been slacking off a bit before that. My husband always asked me if I want to go. I usually have an excuse, like I have so much to do (I'm retired) but still busy. I promise I will start Mon. Now I have to go.

kyaub123 2011-08-16 09:02:54 -0500 Report

I have had type 2 diabetes for 10 years. I found out after my mother died in 1996. My family has been very helpful and the few friends are also. Now they have said I have breast cancer. Well, this just another thing I will have to overcome. Thru prayer and friendship and family, I Will Overcome. I walk alot and this helps.

Gimpalong 2011-08-16 01:04:22 -0500 Report

Hi Gabby,

Since I have a foot/ankle problem, it is often difficult to walk in my neighborhood where the sidewalks are unlevel, and walking in the street is risking being run over by someone who always in a hurry..lol. My doctor recommended a device that I sit in front of my chair, it has pedals like an eliptical, and it also has straps to pull for the upper body. I can use it for 15-30 minutes when I might be watching T.V. or my grandchildren want to do their exercises on the rug. We can have a fun-time together, and it is helping me get into shape plus using my knees and ankles which need strengthening. It cost about $40.00. I can get my exercise time in which I need. (This is not the device advertised on T.V. It was made to people who needed cardiac workout without fear of falling…just call me "Queen Klutz" : > )

jayabee52 2012-03-17 13:10:25 -0500 Report

Howdy Nancy. I guess that explains your screen name. Is there a name or a manufacturer for this piece of equipment? Where might one find it?

GabbyPA 2011-08-17 20:16:27 -0500 Report

That is great. I also walk in my house. Yep. Well, my old house. The kitchen was open at both ends and went through the dining and family room. So I kind of hand an indoor track. The dogs thought I was nuts, but I liked doing it.

BandonBob 2011-08-15 11:31:25 -0500 Report

I have been riding my bike an avearge of 6 miles everyday for 20 years now. I do really well at controlling my diabetes with this but I do fail on items 5 and 6. I never remember to test before I go I just grab my bike and go. Number 7 is more hot and miss. When my granddaughter is available we ride together but I never carry a cell phnoe becuase part of what makes my ride fun is not having to deal with a phone. So far I have never had anything out of the ordinary happen. I will try and keep my cell phon with me although turned off.

mlarra 2011-08-15 10:38:50 -0500 Report

Hi everyone I agree that exercise is the best option to try to control this illness. I've been walking on my lunch break since July 5th (I walk about 1.5 miles every day Mon-Fri). I find changing the music on my Ipod helps break the routine syndrome. One day I'll listen to one playlist and change it the next day. I feel much better but definitely have to work on my eating habits as my A1C was 8.5 this past testing which is the highest I've ever been. I'm hoping with the exercise and a change in my eating habits that my next A1C will be considerably lower. Good luck everyone.

Kinn D.
Kinn D. 2011-08-15 08:12:06 -0500 Report

I don't know what to do. I have endometriosis and it has gotten to the point where I might have to have surgery to remove the scar tissue it has caused to form in my abdomen. I have tried walking, that hurts, running isn't an option because of my heart. I have tried Yoga recently, but even that movement has started to cause extreme pain. I don't know what to do to get any exercise without having to go the the ER for the pain it causes. I can't even move my waist without bending over because it hurts, which in turn causes more pain. It's frustrating! I wanna do something. I'm not the type to just sit still and do nothing, but when every move I make hurts I have no option but to be still.

GabbyPA 2011-08-15 08:14:58 -0500 Report

Have you tried swimming or maybe tia chia? There is not bending, and the impact on joints is very low.

kati3323 2011-08-14 22:45:25 -0500 Report

I'm new to exercise, again. I have RA and am overweight. I couldn't find something I would do consistently. It didn't work for me to exercise every other day. I would forget about it for days. So I have to do something every day. I have been walking for 12 minutes. (per Mike Huckabbee"s book) His 12 "STOPS" helped me to get into a better frame of mind about exercising. When the weather is bad I walk in a store. I have also used a "grabber" to pick up cans. I have to do things slowly, I kept injuring myself when I belonged to a gym. I find it fun to walk in different neighborhoods. I like to see different things as I walk.

catroter53 2011-08-14 19:32:25 -0500 Report

hi everyone,, happy sunday,,,i enjoy going for walks on the venice boardwalk. there"s alot of vendors selling stuff and small stores. or i will walk 3 blocks around my neighborhood,, i want to tell everyone also,, since i have been reading and just being here on diabetic connect,, my blood sugar is lately been between 113/145. im eating small portions every 3 hours,, veggie"s and fruit mostly,, and most definitly walking,, with my walker of course. everyone have a great week :)

onefunblonde57 2011-08-14 19:00:41 -0500 Report




SHAUN'S MOM 2011-08-14 15:08:10 -0500 Report

Mobility is an issue for me right now. I have found different ways to exercise via this site, my friends and my church. I thank God for all of you:)

Marytea 2011-08-14 08:58:02 -0500 Report

I love walking and try to vary the place each day from local parks, to myy neighborhood and even early morning at the mall. Once a month or so I walk a 5K. It's fun and I have lots of colorful t shirts to show for it.

nzingha 2011-08-14 08:54:41 -0500 Report

Moegig I like what u have just said..just imagine those things as monsters chasing u..blindness, losing ur limbs and run like hell… thats all I need to be motivated to excercise..DWL! no but seriously..thats what it boils down to.. I dont need anything else to motivate me to move my ass off that coach or from that desk after work…!

MoeGig 2011-08-13 18:29:04 -0500 Report

Here's what motivates me to exercise: I think of losing my toes/vision/kidneys. Slow jogging on the treadmill (or fast/walking) promotes the growth of the little arteries in your feet/kidneys/eyes…thus postponing the onset of complications. I do not want that to happen to me. Been lucky so far since 1965 as a Type 1, but I need to scare myself into continuing this regimen.

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