You are probably aware that exercise is important for good health - particularly if you have diabetes. Being active each day can help control your weight and manage your blood sugar levels. But you may not have had much luck starting an exercise routine you can stick with.
Keeping up regular activity is hardest when you're just starting out. It can take about six weeks to truly adopt a new habit. If you've fallen out of the practice, take this chance to jump-start your routine. Keep in mind a few simple pointers and you'll be on your way to getting your exercise plan up and running for the long term.
Top 10 Ways to Start a Personal Exercise Program
- Start slowly and build up gradually - 15 minutes to start with is enough to get your heart going.
- Wear shoes that fit well, have plenty of room, and are appropriate for the activity.
- Find an exercise partner - you'll be more likely to stick with it together.
- Warm up for five minutes before exercising and cool down for five minutes afterward.
- Do it at the same time every day or every other day. Put it on your calendar and you'll be less likely to skip it.
- Join a class to explore a new interest.
- Embrace exercise in all of its forms: gardening, washing the car (by hand), golfing, vacuuming, or walking at the mall all count.
- Talk with your health care professional about the best time for you to check your blood sugar, such as before and after you exercise. Be sure to log the results to keep yourself motivated.
- Plan a walking or jogging route.
- Keep a log of what you do. Looking back, you'll be pleased with all of your progress.
Be sure to consult a health care provider before starting any exercise program.