Healthy Living

7 Tips to Keep Patients Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes

These 7 tips will help any diabetic patient stay motivated in their exercise routine.

7 Tips to Keep Patients Exercising with Type 2 Diabetes

When you are first diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, you are determined to take all the necessary steps and control it. You vow that you will exercise, and that you will follow the recommendations of your doctors. Unfortunately, just like many resolutions, you may not actually keep them.

Exercising is vital. Physical activity helps with your weight loss, and this is a crucial component in controlling your type 2 diabetes. Your doctor will tell you even a little weight loss or just up to 10% of your body weight contributes to blood sugar control.

Regular exercise improves your A1C level, which is the indicator of your blood sugar control over the past three months. Regular exercise helps reduce A1C plus blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Control of blood pressure and cholesterol levels is vital in reducing heart disease.

According to Jill Weisenberger, RDN, CDE, author of Diabetes Weight Loss – Week by Week and a certified diabetes educator in Newport New Virginia, emphasizes, “You need insulin, a hormone made by your pancreas, to deposit glucose or blood sugar, a source of energy, into your cells. Exercise helps train the body to use insulin better long-term.”

Exercise for those with type 2 diabetes needs to include strength training or resistance exercise plus aerobic exercise. Using both types of exercise in your weekly routine will improve your blood sugar control after 12-weeks, according to a study published in the Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness. You will also have increased energy levels by exercising regularly.

Sticking to Your Exercise Resolutions

Even if you know you need to exercise, it isn’t easy to utilize regular exercise. Most people have trouble maintaining an exercise program, but if you follow these seven steps, you might find exercise becoming a part of your weekly activities.

1. Start slowly

Starting an exercise routine takes determination. If you have been sedentary most of your adult life, intense exercise will only cause you pain and discouragement. Instead, The American Diabetes Association suggests you start by walking at least 10 minutes a day. Don’t overdo it. Keep going, and as your fitness levels improve, you can add five minutes to your walking routine. Soon, you will reach a goal of 30 minutes of brisk walking every day. Think of how awesome you will feel.

2. Do something you like

It is easier to stay with an exercise plan if you are having fun. If you don’t like using a treadmill in a gym, you won’t stick with it. If you like to walk outside and have a reason to walk, you will do it. Vary your path. Walk different ways every day. Find something enjoyable about your walk.

3. Reward yourself

After you have kept with your exercise or walking goal, do something fun – like go to a concert, movie, or sporting event. It is not a good idea to reward yourself with food, however.

4. Block out time in your day for your exercise routine

Write it down. If you see the word “exercise” on your to-do list, you will be more apt to take your exercise seriously. You can also break up your exercise goals into small bites. For example, walk to the mailbox, slowly, in the morning and walk around the block in the afternoon.

5. Be serious about your exercise regimen

Lay out your clothes for your morning workout at night and place them where you can see them. Pack a gym bag, if you go to the gym, and grab it and go. Put your workout clothes in the front of your closet where you will see them every time you open your closet door.

6. Find an exercise buddy, even if it is your dog begging for a walk

If you have someone to exercise with, it will be easier to go to the gym or take a walk. Rob Powell, PhD., CDE assistant professor of Exercise Physiology and the Director of the Diabetes Exercise Center at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia says, “Having someone to exercise with helps pass the time more quickly and takes your mind off the effort you need to exercise.”Make sure your exercise partner will encourage you and hold you accountable for your exercise routine.

7. Check your blood sugar before you exercise and after you are finished with your routine

Checking blood sugar will show you how well you are doing with your exercise and what it can do for blood sugar management.

It will be difficult at first to use these steps and to exercise, but when you see how well you have done, you will have your reward.

Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is listed as adult-onset diabetes. No longer is it noninsulin-dependent diabetes because many type 2 diabetics need insulin as well. It is a chronic condition affecting how your body processes glucose or sugar. Glucose is your body’s source of energy.

Type 2 diabetes is much more common in adults, but it is increasingly affecting children as obesity in children rises. There are no cures for type 2 diabetes, but you can manage the disease by eating well, exercising and keeping your weight down. If your diet and exercise aren’t enough, you will also need insulin therapy or diabetes medications.

If you are feeling sluggish and have these symptoms, you will need to contact your doctor for a full diagnosis. Meanwhile, eat healthy, exercise, and watch for these symptoms:

  • Frequent urination and increased thirst. Excess sugar in your blood triggers fluid to be extracted from your tissues. Losing fluid causes you to be thirsty. You will drink and urinate more than usual.
  • Increased hunger. When insulin isn’t moving sugar into your cells, your muscles become sluggish and lose energy. Low insulin levels trigger intense hunger.
  • Weight loss. You eat more than usual to relieve your hunger, but you are losing weight. You cannot metabolize glucose, so your body uses substitute fuels deposited in fat and muscles. If you experience weight loss, even if you are obese or overweight, this could be a pleasant activity, but it could also be a sign of type 2 diabetes.
  • Fatigue. When cells are deprived of energy-giving sugar, you become tired and grumpy.
  • Blurred vision. When blood sugar is too high, fluid is pulled from the lenses of your eyes, and this affects your ability to focus.
  • Frequent infections and slow healing sores. It is a known fact that if you have type 2 diabetes, you will have problems healing. Delayed healing is a serious problem. If you don’t heal, you could experience loss of feeling and eventual loss of your lower limbs.
  • Acanthosis nigricans. Do you experience patches of dark and velvety skin in the folds and creases of your body? These patches usually occur in the armpits and the folds of the neck. These dark, velvety patches are a sign of insulin resistance.