Today’s Prompt: Let’s round out the week by sharing our best diabetes tips and diabetes tricks. From how you organize supplies to how you manage gear on the go/vacation (beach, or skiing, or whatever). From how you keep track of prescription numbers to how you remember to get your orders refilled. How about any “unconventional” diabetes practices, or ways to make diabetes work for YOU (not necessarily how the doctors say to do it!). There’s always something we can learn from each other.
Because the health payoffs are so big, my tips are about hacking exercise. I thought I’d share what’s been working for me, in case it works for you, too.
Find Your Optimal Workout Time. For me, it’s 6:15 AM. Here’s why I love early morning workouts:
- The rest of my life generally doesn’t get in the way.
- If something does interfere with that morning time slot, there are often opportunities to squeeze in exercise later later in the day (multiple short walks, an evening run, etc.)
- I’m able to dial back my insulin usage for several hours after the exercise. (That, in itself is hugely motivating!)
Leverage Technology. Here’s what I’m using right now:
- Garmin Vivofit / Connect App – a gift from my family two Christmases ago.
- 5kRunner App – this $2.99 investment helped me get in shape for my first 5k.
- Audible.com – I listen to books while I run. Actually, I don’t let myself listen to books unless I’m out for a run. I found a Groupon for a 3-month trial. I’m enjoying it, so I’m continuing my membership. (Did you know you can share a subscription with up to 3 other people? How great is that?)
- Podcasts – I also listen to podcasts while I run. Current favorites include: The Moth, This American Life, New Yorker Fiction.
Invite Friends and Family. I started with just one thing on this list. When a habit was formed, I added something else, and so on. Here’s what I did:
- Challenged my husband, who recently got a pedometer, to a 10,000-steps competition. (I know the 10,000 steps thing is bunk, but it’s still the milestone I use. In fact, the 10,000-step goal is what motivated me to start running – because I didn’t have time to walk them all.)
- Recruited a few friends to walk and / or run with me. It’s good for us all, right? Plus, it’s a great way to keep up with friends!
- Invited a few other friends to go to Zumba with me. Just $5 a class at our local rec center. Great music, great company.
- Signed up for a neighborhood 5k. Did I mention that I
amwas not a runner? (See what I did there? Now I am a runner.)
- Invited my 11-year old to run with me on the weekends. (We take turns playing favorite songs for each other. I love learning what she’s into!)
- Realized that my neighbor goes to the same gym I do. (Now we go to the gym together.)
Vary the Activities. Here’s what I’m doing now:
- Cardio and weight lifting (2x/week)
- Yoga (1x/week)
- Running (2x/week)
- Fast-walking (1x/week) or Hiking
How about you? How do you stay committed to exercise?
For more perspectives on this topic, click here.