Spring is here and with the nice weather comes the heavy feeling of guilt knowing that I haven't exercised all winter. Sure, I walk from my car to the store and I bench press my two year old on a regular basis, but I am not really sure those activities count as regular exercise. I use winter as an excuse to not be as active, saying that it is too cold to go out and a gym membership is just not in the budget. But that is exactly what it is… an excuse.

The dreaded phrase, “you know you really should be adding some kind of exercise to your diabetes management plan” is something that I hear from my doctor on a regular basis. I am not extremely overweight or out of shape, but it is a fact that exercise can help stabilize your blood sugar and keep your other organs primed and running well. No one wants their body to break down prematurely from anything other than old age.

And so with reluctance, it is time to crawl out of the winter cave and the not so active habits that I have developed over the winter months and make a plan to get active in order to keep my body healthy. Not only for my sake, but for my family. Nobody wants a rickety old wretch for a mom or wife. I want to be able to run around and play with my kids for years to come and in order to that I need to get active now. And I am sure my husband will appreciate not having to deal with the crazy mood swings that come with unstable blood sugar levels.

It is hard to get an exercise plan started when you aren't in the habit, but if you make little changes that over time create a more active lifestyle, before you know it you will be running marathons… ok maybe not, but at least you will feel better and your diabetes will reflect it too.

You can start by parking your car farther away when you go to the store or when going to work. The extra steps may not seem like a lot, but they add up. Next you can start taking the stairs instead of the elevator. This one may seem like a doozy at first. You will be out of breath and all sweaty when you reach the top, but just think of the sense of accomplishment you will feel. Before you know it, you will forget there is even an elevator and will find it is faster to take the stairs because you have become accustom to it. While at work if you get the chance, take a break to stretch your legs and take a walk outside in the nice weather. It will help to clear your head, and give you the ability to stay focused for longer.

As you become more active in the activities that you do every day, you will find it much easier to set up an exercise regime or workout plan. It sounds crazy I know, but the more you exercise the more you will want to find time in your day to do it. And just think of how wonderful it will be to see the look of shock on your doctor’s face at your next appointment when you tell him that you have been exercising regularly. You will be happier, your family with be happier and your doctor will be happier. So let exercise give you a fresh start this spring!

To learn more on this topic:
Mindfulness Moment: Find Calm in Simple Chores
How Morning Exercise Benefits Diabetes
How to Start a Diabetes-Friendly Exercise Plan