What Can I Do?
Top tips for getting exercise
We know that exercise has many benefits for everyone, including people with diabetes.1 So it’s definitely worth making the effort to incorporate exercise into our daily life. But many of us find it hard to fit exercise into our busy schedules, or just to get motivated to begin! Here we share some information and pointers we hope will help.
10 tips for exercising and staying motivated
- Start slowly. Gradually increase the intensity over time. Consult your healthcare professional for guidance.
- Take a class. Try something new. Your budding interest in the new activity is likely to motivate you.
- Get an exercise buddy. Set regular times with your friend that you both commit to. The social aspect will make your exercise routine more pleasant and provide added support.
- Remember, everything counts. Physical activity can take many forms. Vacuuming, gardening, golfing, walking and pushing the lawnmower all count as exercise. Allow yourself to feel good about the physical activity you build into your normal day.
- Keep your blood glucose in check. Talk to your healthcare professional about when it is the best time to check your blood glucose – before or after exercise. Keeping track of your results will help you stay motivated to continue with your diabetes weight loss and fitness goals.
- Drink extra fluid before, during (a long exercise session) and after exercise to avoid dehydration. Water is a great option.
- Keep an activity log. Briefly jot down what you did and for how long. You can look back and feel proud of your efforts at exercise.
- Stay safe. Warm up and cool down for 5 minutes before and after you exercise. And remember to wear sun block if exercising outside.
- Make it a part of your routine. Put physical activity on your calendar, preferably at the same time of day. If exercise is scheduled into your routine, you’ll be less likely to skip it.
- Get the right gear. Wear comfortable, appropriate shoes and clothing for the activity.
Important things to discuss with your healthcare professional1
- Speak with your healthcare professional before starting a new exercise program or making changes to an existing program. Strenuous activity may not be suitable for some people with diabetes.
- Check with your healthcare professional if you need to take extra carbohydrate before and during exercise to prevent hypoglycaemia.
- Check with your healthcare professional if you need to make any changes to your medications before or after exercise, especially if you are taking insulin.