Thursday, 9 January 2014

Brand new year, brand new you?

The beginning of another year is always filled with promises – no more junk food, lots more trips to the gym, lose tons of weight, travel the world. The list of typical new years resolutions, is endless. 

How about we stop for a minute, and think about what we really want from 2014. Do we really want to exhuast ourselves at the gym 7 days a week? Do we really want to cut all ties with the things that we love? The answer is probably no. And the good news is, there's no need to.

When it comes to diabetes, taking care of one's self, is really important. People with diabetes are more likely to come across complications in old age, if they don't care of themselves, today.

However, there is a difference between taking care of one's self, and overworking the body. Working out 7 days a week, and having no form of enjoyment, will most likely lead to exhuastion, tiredness, and a desire to stop everything, all together.

The important thing in looking after yourself, both your diabetes and your general health & fitness, is learning to find a balance. You don't have to be a gym buff. The Department of Health recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week. This is less than 3 hours a week. What's even better, is that this doesn't mean 3 hours in the gym. You might be surprised at what counts as exercise...

How many times have you taken the lift, instead of walking? Try to take the stairs once in a while, perhaps. Or how about taking a nice stroll to meet friends for a coffee?

Try cycling. Find a local park, and enjoy the breeze, as you cycle your way to fitness.

Even those mundane tasks around the house that need doing – vaccuuming, DIY, gardening.

You might want to get family and friends involved. It is a lot easier to keep at something, if you have a reason to keep going.

Building up your activity gradually, makes it easier to stay active. You might even discover you quite enjoy a particular activity!

Diabetes is a very unpredictable condition. That doesn't mean that it should control us or stop us from doing things. If you are worried about doing a certain form of exercise, because of how your diabetes might be affected, it might be worth talking to your Diabetes Nurse or Consultant. There are a lot of people with diabetes, who also regularly blog about they sports they take part in.

More importantly though, listen to your body. No one expects you to be running marathons next week, or climbing mountains next month! Take it one step at a time, remember to check your sugar levels before the activity, during if possible, and after. You are more likely to have a hypo up to 24 hours after exercise, so it is perhaps wise to monitor your levels the next day. If you feel low during the activity, stop and treat the hypo.

Useful Resources
Diabetes UK – Getting Active and Staying Active
Diabetes UK – Blogs from various people with diabetes, who take part in sports

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