Here are my top four strategies for actually prioritizing exercise:
1. Find Your Optimal Workout Time
Mine is 6:15 AM. I like early morning workouts because:
- The rest of my life generally doesn’t get in the way.
- If something does interfere, I can often manage to squeeze something in later in the day (e.g. multiple short walks, evening run, etc.).
- I can dial back on insulin for 2-3 hrs post-exercise. (That, in itself, is hugely motivating!)
2. 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 liked it so much, I continued the 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.
3. Invite Friends and Family.
I started with just one thing on this list. Once the 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 are arbitrary, but I still like having them as a milestone. In fact, those 10,000-steps are what inspired 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.)
4. 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?
This post was written for Diabetes Blog Week.
The Prompt: Diabetes tips and diabetes tricks.
For more perspectives on this topic, click here.