Exercise…What if I Can’t Walk?

This was the second of my postings about exercise.  Throughout my other posts I emphasize that I walk 30 minutes a day – that’s it.  I just walk.  It is an incredibly importnat part of my path to controlling diabetes.  

So, please enjoy Part Two of Exercise.

In the beginning – as I learned of my diagnoses – all I heard about exercise was walk, walk, walk as I began to research what exercise I could do.  I wrote before that I did not want to go to a gym, and the idea of running did not appeal to me at all.  So, the decision to walk was not to difficult. And, I am lucky, I can walk.

But, not everyone can walk for exercise.  Some may not be able to walk due to a physical issue.  So, what can they do for exercise?  I am not a physical therapist but I do have a few suggestions.

Remember, doing something – anything – is better than not doing anything.  Work around the house is considered a form of exercise by some – did you know that?  Think about it.  There’s stretching, stooping, use of arms and legs…the list just goes on and on about the kind of movements you do when cleaning a home.  Keep that in mind, okay.  Maybe you need to create the cleanest house in the neighborhood and get your exercise doing it.

What else can you do?

If you have access to a pool, and you can enter and exit it, swim.  Swimming has long be considered the best exercise you can get.  The buoyancy water gives you makes it easier on the joints.  In fact, there are classes at some places in water aerobics.  Look at your local Y.

How about sitting in a chair?  Sitting in a chair?  Yep – but don’t just sit there.  You can sit in just about any chair and lift your legs.  Extend them straight out.  Heels on the floor and slowly lift your feet.  Repeat.  And, repeat.  Work up to doing sets of 10, 15, 20 and more.  A set is just doing the exercise repetitively.  So do three sets of 15 leg lefts.  But, wait, that’s not going to take 30 minutes, is it?

While still sitting in the same chair, lift light weights with you arms.  You can start with weights of a pound or two and do curls – bending your elbow and bringing the weight near your chin.  Or, you can take that same weight, hold your arm straight out and move it out to the side.  Add the use of weights to leg lifts and you begin to get closer to that magic 30 minutes.

By the way, if you can’t afford the light weights, use a can of vegetables or fruit.  You have those in the house, right?

Maybe you can ride a bike.  Beg or borrow a bike if you don’t have one and ride it for 30 minutes a day.

Did you know weights, bikes and exercise machines are available on Craigslist?  Kind of cheap and lightly used in some cases.  Be careful if you choose to by used and inspect the equipment to the best of your ability.

And, while I live in Southern California where I can walk outside almost everyday, some of you might not live in such friendly climates.  Find a treadmill or elliptical machine – again, consider getting used equipment.

You can do this.  You can figure out a way to exercise – it’s important to weight loss and management of diabetes.  It really is.  Exercise is something you have got to do – and this is coming from a person who hates exercise.

“Fitness – if it came in a bottle, everyone would have a great body.” Cher

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I am not a doctor or health professional. I am just a guy who is working everyday to control Type 2 Diabetes. My goal is to offer hope, help and solutions for day-to-day living for the diabetic. The disease can be controlled. It can be managed. And, you can do it!

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