Getting moving isn’t just good for your body. It improves your mood, your focus, your sleep and reduces stress. Sounds good, right? So then why isn’t everyone grabbing their sneakers every morning and hopping on a treadmill? Well, life is busy. There’s work and kids and commitments that are out of your control. So how can you be expected to do all of that AND get in all of the exercise that you need to stay healthy?
Physical activity helps control blood sugar levels. It also helps lower your risk of heart disease and nerve damage.
Make Moving Part of Your Life
- Take the dog for walks, lots of them
- Find mini breaks in your day to get moving more, like doing squats while brushing your teeth or calf raises while scrambling eggs
- Try yoga with the whole family
Basically, find ways to make being active part of your life, not something you have to add into it.
Would you prefer something more structured but also aren’t sure you’ll stick with it? Here are a few things we’ve found help people stay motivated.
Ways to Stay Motivated
- Find an activity that you love to do and get passionate about it. It should be one that feels like playing and less like exercise. For example, tennis, tango, swimming, or bike riding. Forget the gym.
- Find a friend. Connect with others that share your passion. Whether it’s a family member, a friend, or a local group, you’ll motivate each other to stick with it.
- Set mini goals. Start with a 5k run. Or neighborhood bike ride. Or even just working out for five days in a row. Start with manageable, meet-able goals that will make you feel successful.
- See the big picture. Exercise helps diabetics control their blood sugar levels; it helps lower your risk of heart disease; it helps manage high blood pressure; it reduces your likelihood of getting nerve damage, and so much more.
Okay, now you’re motivated but let’s get down to the nuts and bolts of it. How frequently should you be active? And what kind of activity is best? And for how long?
The Nuts and Bolts
- Adults need both aerobic exercise and strength training exercise, two days of strength training to be precise and 150 minutes of heart pumping exercise, or less if it’s “vigorous” and not “moderate” intensity
- Not sure exactly what the difference between vigorous and moderate is?
- Try the talking test, if you’re breathing hard but can still talk, that’s moderate, if you can only say a few words before you have to stop to take a breath, that’s vigorous
- Are you a planner? Check out this free Activity Planner
Visit Prevent Diabetes for information on the diabetes prevention program.
You can also contact us at 1-844-326-3043 between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m., MST, Monday through Friday or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. The National Diabetes Prevention Program is offered by Tabula Rasa HealthCare and the APhA Foundation and is funded by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
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