The more active you are, the easier it will be to manage your diabetes. Try these tips to boost your motivation and stick with your exercise routine.
You've been exercising pretty regularly—then your friend comes to town, so you skip your nightly power walk. The next night, you’re tired from the evening before, so the walk falls through the cracks—again. Before you know it a whole week’s gone by and you just can’t seem to get back into the workout swing.
Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even with the best of intentions, motivation fluctuates from week to week, according to a study in the Journal of Sport & Exercise Psychology. The key? Calling on these strategies to refuel your commitment to fitness and reap the health rewards: better-controlled blood sugar, weight, blood pressure and circulation.
You can do it! Try these simple steps to stay inspired and get moving to better manage diabetes.
Adjust your mindset
Stop thinking of working out as a dedicated activity that will take up a chunk of time. Fitness can mean any type of physical activity, from gardening to making beds. So if the gym or a class just isn’t for you right now, try seeking more opportunities to move throughout the day. Why not vow to never take an elevator when your destination is below the third floor? Or do a few squats while brushing your teeth.
Make a friendly bet
Money talks—and this goes for fitness motivation, too. A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that financial incentives work when it comes to losing weight. How much money are you willing to lose or gain? Place a bet with a coworker, family member or friend on who could walk the most miles in a month. Start now and order a pedometer online and set a start date.
Let the clock fool you
Studies show that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick with exercising than those who exercise at other times of the day. Can’t get out of bed? Set your cell phone alarm to 6:58 AM, your bedroom clock alarm to 7:00 AM and your partner’s alarm to 7:02 AM—and why not take it a step further and place the alarms in different rooms, even on different floors. Hey, if you still go back to bed, at least you started your day running around a little.
Make an exercise menu
Doing the same fitness routine over and over can zap your motivation. It’s just a matter of time before you get bored. Give yourself some fun choices instead—a walk in the park, a drop-in Zumba class, a bike ride, a hike with the kids. That way, you’ll stay out of a rut and be ready to match your activity to your mood and energy level.
Note: Some athletic wear stores have free drop-in fitness classes. It’s a great way to try Pilates, yoga and strength conditioning. So next time you’re at the mall, check out that shop instead of walking by.
Give yourself some flexibility
Plotting your workout schedule can help you stick to your routine, but don’t be too rigid. Designate three or four time slots a week, and be willing to shuffle your schedule, if, say, you don’t feel well or are faced with an unexpected work event.
Dress the part
Toss on your workout clothes and lace up those sneakers. Even if you don’t have a gym date, your attire may encourage you to pick up your pace around the house or maybe even take a walk around the track before hitting the supermarket.
Did you hit the gym twice this week? Did you take the stairs every day? Set small achievable goals, and treat yourself with nonfood rewards, such as a pair of new sneakers or a spa treatment. You don’t have to lose 10 pounds to be proud of yourself. Every step toward staying healthy is something to take pride in!
Make a date
Whether you plan a morning walk with a neighbor or sign up for spin class at the gym, setting an appointment will hold you more accountable and help you stick with your fitness plan.
Be honest with yourself
What’s your go-to excuse for not exercising? Are you too tired to get out of bed in the morning? Sign up for a class after work. Do you feel guilty about spending time away from the kids? Take a family hike. Are you bored with the elliptical? Mix it up with some strength training. Once you identify your pitfalls, it’s easy to figure out how to adjust your schedule and combat these excuses.