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The 7 excuses that keep you from exercising - and how to overcome them
There's no getting around it: exercise is crucial for diabetes management.
While we're not sure exactly how it works, exercise has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity in people with blood sugar problems, which makes it an important part of daily care for all types of diabetics.
But what happens when your excuses get the best of you and you find yourself in a rut? If you can't seem to get off the couch and get moving, ask yourself if you're using one of these seven sneaky excuses to avoid exercising – and then use the following tips to get back on track:
- I'm too tired. We live in a fast-paced world where mostly everyone feels worn out and fatigued at the end of the day. If you find yourself using this excuse, plan to exercise at the time of day when your energy level is highest, whether it's early morning, on your lunch break, or late at night. Also, remember that getting adequate exercise will usually help raise your energy levels.
- I'm not an active person. Feeling like you're just not cut out to be athletic? Know that everyday activities, like housework or mowing the lawn, count as exercise. Combine these higher-energy activities with simple things like walking or light weight lifting while you watch television and you can easily fit in enough exercise on a daily basis.
- I don't have the gear. It's common to think you need fancy clothes or gear if you want to start running, join a gym or take a yoga class. Not true. Clothes that make you feel comfortable and allow for movement are the only requirement. In fact, running and walking are the easiest ways to get in exercise without needing any equipment except a decent pair of supportive shoes.
- I don't have time. Far and away, this is one of the most common excuses for not exercising. But if you look at an average day, there's likely to be at least a 20-minute or half-hour window where you can fit in some type of exercise. Plan it as part of your routine ahead of time. Put it on the calendar. Even three 10-minute sessions of exercise during the day add up, so do what you can, when you can.
- Exercise is boring. If you aren't having fun when you're exercising, you may not be doing it right. The key to making exercise a lifelong habit is to find things you enjoy doing. Add music to your walk. Listen to a podcast when you're on the treadmill. Ask a friend to join a rock climbing gym with you. Mix it up and keep variety in your routine.
- I might make my health/condition worse. To some people, exertion can feel threatening or scary. But remember that exercise helps lower A1C, reduces blood pressure and can lower cortisol levels - which will help you manage stress. If you're concerned about what exercises are safe for your particular health condition/s, check in with your doctor. He or she can recommend activities that won't be dangerous.
- It's too embarrassing. Many people won't join a gym or group fitness class because they're afraid of exercising in front of other people. If that's the case, get started by yourself at home until you feel comfortable enough to be in a group setting. Buy a few workout DVDs – yoga, aerobics, kickboxing – you can do in the living room. You may soon feel confident enough to try these same activities in a class because you're more familiar with the basic moves.
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