Getting Motivated to Exercise – Even with Diabetes.

Posted on May 9, 2011


My Mizunos waiting for me in the morning

Monday Morning.  How many of you exercised this morning?  How many of you are going to exercise later today?  Later this week?

Exercise is so important for our bodies, mind, and spirit.  And for those of us with diabetes, it can really make a difference in our overall health.

I love to exercise (most of the time).  I do have my off days.  We all do.  But we don’t want every day to be an off day.  We would never workout.

So how do I get motivated?  These are tips that I have used throughout the years.  Keep in mind that you have to do what works for you (and follow your doctor’s recommendations).  But seeing what others do never hurts (I hope it helps). 

Here we go:

1.  Get permission from your doctor regarding exercise.  Make sure it is okay to exercise and discuss what type of exercise you are going to do.  

2.  Try some new forms of exercise.  I have always been an avid runner, and lately I have been mixing it up with spinning and weight training. When you try new exercises, don’t expect to be and feel perfect.  I was tired after my first spin class.  Muscles I did not know existed were sore. Consider working out with friends if you do better in groups.  Form a walking group or sign up for a group spin. 

3.  Figure out what exercises you like.  If you don’t like the exercise, you are not going to crawl out of bed to do it or squeeze in time after work when you are already tired (this is why I run in the mornings – too tired at night).  I love to run.  It gives me a high.  I get out of bed to do it.  Some people like walking.  Others prefer to swim.  We are all different.  Do what works for you. 

4.  Put exercise on your calendar.  I pencil in exercise mentally and literally.  Exercise is just as important as any other activity and/or meeting.  I make time for it.   Keeping myself healthy is important for me and everyone in my life.  When I am at my best those around me benefit too.

5.  Prepare to exercise.  Every night before bed, I set out my running clothes and shoes for the next morning.  They are right there when I get up so I don’t have to dig around, turn on lights, or disturb the kids.  I actually have friends who sleep in their workout clothes which even saves more time.  And when you wake up in those clothes or see the pile next to you, it reminds you – I am going to exercise.

6.  Adjust insulin, have a snack.  I set my basal (the night before) to give me 50% of what I normally take,  two hours before I will start running.  My basal is normal when running.  And I eat 10 carbs (if my blood sugar is in normal range)  30 minutes before I run or 20 carbs if my blood sugar is low.  If I am high, I correct with only 25% of what I would normally give for that correction and still have the 10 carbs.  I like to have something in my stomach.  I always test my blood sugar before running.  Remember, this is what I do for me.  Please work with your doctor to figure out what works best for you.  The book Pumping Insulin offers great insight too. 

The Infamous Fanny Pack

7.  Carry food/energy with  you.  When I run (6 miles or less), I always carry a little pouch that holds my phone, key, and sugar (in case of a low).  I love the orange jelly candies that are 13 carbs each.  Glucose tabs are great but only if I have a drink.  They are too dry for me when running.  If I am going on a run longer than 6 miles, I wear a fanny pack and, also, bring my mini One Touch, a few test strips, and a few lancets.  That way I can test on the run if I need to do so.  No matter what type of exercise you do, have sugar handy. 

8.  Music, music, music.  Personally, I do not  use music when running because I like to get into a meditative zone.  But, I love music when spinning or lifting weights.  Music energizes us.  Sometimes putting on music before and during exercising can make a world of difference. 

9.  Visualize yourself exercising.  Every morning when I am putting on my running shoes, I stop and visualize where I am going to run that morning.  I plan out what route I will take.  I, also, think about how exercising will make be strong and healthy.  Ifocus on how great I will feel during the exercise and after the workout.  I see it.  And then I do it.

10.  So get out there and exercise.  As you can see, I am passionate about exercise.  Walk, bike, swim, run…Whatever works for you.  We all deserve to be healthy.  And don’t let diabetes stop you.  Let it motivate you.

Have a great day!