The Diabetic Medicine of Exercise Gives You the Power to Change

The diabetic medicine of exercise will help you lose weight and feel better. But it does more than that. It may end type 2 diabetes for you.

Exercise is the only treatment for type 2 diabetes that has no bad side effects.

It is also the only treatment that brings a 50% to 100% improvement in diabetic complications.

Why call exercise a medicine? Because it does what medications are supposed to do - it makes type 2 diabetes better.

But it will be hard to make the diabetic medicine of exercise a daily habit. The metabolic syndrome had us in its grip long before we became diabetic.

Thousands of years ago doctors knew that people with type 2 diabetes did not do much exercise.

Today the high fat to muscle ratio in a sedentary lifestyle is one of the symptoms included in the metabolic syndrome that leads to insulin resistance.

Why We Need to Change

Do not let diabetic pain stop you from exercising.

Because most type 2 diabetics don't move around a lot, it means a big change if we are going to use the diabetic medicine of exercise.

Here are some things that might convince you why it is so important.

  • Insulin resistance is lowered by exercise.
  • Every pound of body fat that is replaced with muscle makes it easier to lose weight.
  • Exercise stimulates the beta cells to make insulin. That is why you watch for signs of low blood sugar when you exercise.
  • Regular exercise lowers blood pressure and triglycerides. Two of the symptoms in the metabolic syndrome are high blood pressure and high triglycerides.

How to Change

Now you are convinced exercise will help you because you really want to get off your diabetic medications.

But how do you change the habits of many years and commit to the diabetic medicine of exercise?

Here are some exercise ideas taken from the Menopause Organization that are helping me.

First, make a plan. Write down what you are going to do for exercise, the activities you would like and times you can do them.

Make the time for it, because exercise is now a priority.

Wake up early and start your diabetic medicine of exercise with a morning walk or strength training.

Then use your lunch break to walk around. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. If your workplace provides it, use their exercise equipment.

There are exercise classes you can take in the evening. Remember, if you do not plan for it you will not exercise because it is not yet a habit.

For an extra boost, buy a pedometer and set a goal of how many steps you want to walk in a day. It will count steps to and from the car, walking through a store and while you clean the house.

You will become aware of how much you exercise. People who use a pedometer walk an average of 1,000 more steps a day.

Park farther away from stores than you used to. At home, try the Wii or some other exercise program you can do in front of the TV.

Take up a new hobby that has exercise in it, like gardening or dancing. Find an aerobics or yoga class at a Y or community center.

Get Some Support

The biggest secret to sticking with something new is finding a support group. That means an exercise buddy. Friends who have the same goals keep you going.

Exercise trainers are available at gyms, and they are great for showing you how to get the most out of workouts. But they cannot get you out of bed when you lose your motivation. A friend will do that.

Set Goals

You need to prove to yourself that the diabetic medicine of exercise is working. Set goals and monitor your progress.

There is room for tracking activity in your blood sugar log. Write down the length of time and what you did. Be sure to log in when you did not exercise and why.

I use myfitnesspal.com. It is a free website and app for your smart phone. It helps me stay honest about exercise. I find that tracking how many calories you burn is very encouraging.

Make sure your goals are not too lofty or you will get discouraged. Also, plan what you will do when you meet those goals.

What rewards will you give yourself when you succeed? You need to celebrate, no matter how small the goal is. Did you exercise for a whole week without skipping? Did you lose five pounds this month?

Did you climb some stairs without being out of breath? These are things worth celebrating.

The Secret to Real Change that Lasts

Every small change, every pound of muscle you gain or fat you lose is making a difference. But to make the diabetic medicine of exercise work, you must not try to do it all at once.

Start slow. Injuring yourself is the result of doing too much too fast. That leads to giving up, something you must not let happen.

Do not overlook the small things. There is proof that getting up from your computer to move around for a couple of minutes every hour will reduce foot and leg problems from peripheral neuropathy.

When you are going out with your family, think of things to do that will include activity. For instance, visit a park or zoo instead of going to a movie.

Think of everything you do in terms of exercise - yard work and housework, going up and down aisles at the grocery store, and walking around while you are on the phone.

Get up and do stretches during commercials while you watch TV. If you have ankle and wrist weights, you could wear them while you vacuum the house.

If you want to lose weight you'll need to be active at least an hour a day. But 30 minutes three times a week will change you.

Be sure to pick the things you know you will do. Finding out you enjoy the results of exercise is going to transform you.

As with everything you do for type 2 diabetes, making the diabetic medicine of exercise a part of your treatment is entirely up to you.

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To see what progress I am making, visit the diabetic weight loss page.

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