Are you new to exercise? It’s never too late to start! If you have type 2 diabetes, exercise helps to maintain a healthy weight and reduce the risk for heart disease. It can also promote better blood sugar control and blood flow.
While you may not be motivated to exercise, don’t give up. You can find an exercise program that works for you. Your doctor can help you choose appropriate activities and set blood sugar targets to make sure you exercise safely. Read our motivation tips below to keep up a steady, healthy routine that’s perfect for you.
Choose An Activity You Like
Exercise can be fun! We promise–try to choose an activity that brings you joy. Do you love music? Then dance! Do you love the great outdoors? How about a walk along the beach or a hike on a local trail? The ADA recommends starting slowly by walking 10 minutes a day. As your fitness level improves, gently increase your routine until you can reach 30 minutes of brisk walking, five days a week. Also, don’t be afraid to explore new activities—this helps keep exercising fresh and exciting!
Bring A Friend
It’s more fun to exercise with a buddy! While you chat and catch up, you’re distracted from the workout itself (though you do want to focus on proper alignment and movement to prevent injury). Social workouts can make the time fly by! Choose a workout partner who will hold you accountable to your health goals. Exercise can be a great way to connect with your community.
Schedule Your Workout In Advance
By officially scheduling your workouts on a calendar, you prioritize exercise as a daily to-do on your list. It’s a reminder that exercise is just as important as your work conference or chores. It’s a gentle nudge to continue all your hard work in reaching your physical goals. Every step is in the right direction when it’s towards your healthiest self yet!
Check Your Blood Sugar Levels
When you check your blood sugar levels before and after you exercise, you can see the tangible results of all your efforts. These results will motivate you to keep it up!
It’s important to always be prepared. You should always wear a medical alert bracelet or other identification that lets people know you have diabetes. Keep glucose tablets or a sports drink that contains sugar in your gym bag in case of a low blood sugar episode. Also remember to drink plenty of fluids—dehydration during exercise can negatively affect your blood sugar levels.
Celebrate Reaching Your Health Goals
There’s no better reason to celebrate than your health! Do something nice for yourself after you’ve reached consistency in your exercise routine. You should be proud of yourself—getting started is always the hardest part. Once you get into a rhythm, exercise becomes a way of life. Celebrate with a new workout outfit or tickets to an event you want to see.
Remember to have fun — the best motivation of all is when you see real results. A healthy lifestyle feels amazing, you’ll get hooked in no time.