Overcoming Barriers to Exercise with Jane Abbey

THIS BLOG IS THE Fourth IN A SERIES OF POSTS BY FIT4D CDE AND RN, JANE ABBEY, EACH ADDRESSING A DIFFERENT HURDLE TO SUCCESSFUL DIABETES SELF-MANAGEMENT. CHECK OUT THE INTRODUCTIONEMOTIONAL BARRIERS, and Nutrition Barriers posts.

Exercise is an important aspect of diabetes care.

What are the guidelines? How to get started? Is it okay for me to exercise when I have other health issues?

These are all valid questions.

Again, it is important to get your questions answered, so that you can set exercise goals that are best for your health!

Where to go with your questions?

  • Your provider can answer some questions.  
  • A C.D.E. can certainly assist in answering your questions, reviewing exercise guidelines, and assisting you in setting up a plan/goal that is realistic for you. 
  • Online and print resources

Remember that it is important to take small steps that are measurable. 

If you are just beginning to integrate exercise into your lifestyle, think about:

  • What type of exercise would you like to do? Walk, swim, dance, etc.?
  • When are you going to do the exercise?
  • How long will each exercise session last?
  • How many days a week are you planning to exercise?

Remember the goal setting discussion from my second blog post of the series?

Start small.  Here is an example of incrementally increasing your goal each month:

  1. Month 1: Walk 3 days a week for 10 minutes each day.
  2. Month 2: Walk 4 days a week for 15 minutes each day.
  3. Month 3: Walk 5 days a week for 20 minutes a day.
  4. Month 4: Walk 5 days a week for 30 minutes a day - you are at your maintenance goal!
  5. Months 5, 6, 7, …. Continue walking 5 days a week for 30 minutes a day

Here are a list of some resources to assist you with getting started on planning your new exercise program:

Online resources:

Written resources:

  • American Diabetes Association magazine: subscribe online or call 1-800-806-7801. 
  • Diabetes Self-Management Magazine: subscribe online or call 1-855-367-4813.
  • Check with your Health Care Provider for any written materials they may have available in the office.

Many of us may have other physical issues that limit what we are able to do. Set a goal that is workable for you. Start out small and build every month. Set a big goal and mini goals. Once you hit your big goal, your "maintenance goal," keep up the hard-work maintaining your consistent exercise routine!

By: Jane Abbey, RN, CDE
Fit4D CDE