Hi! I've had the privilege of being associated with the healthcare industry for over 30 years. A graduate of Vanderbilt's Owen Graduate School of Business, recently, I was VP of Patient Care for one of the largest diabetic testing suppliers in the nation - this gave me a great deal of exposure to diabetes and the struggles that diabetics face.
As a writer and public speaker, I attempt to communicate solutions to many of the daily struggles of the typical diabetic. And, I even sometimes use humor (gasp!)
Boredom has always feverishly nipped at my heels whenever I exercise.
Yep, I don’t get exhausted much but almost always I do get bored.
It’s funny, in all my years of researching exercise, I have only seen one article that addressed boredom and that article specifically focused on marathoners.
Yet back to my dumbbells … in a previous posting, I had discussed how they disappeared for a year and then reappeared magically one day. And how I was now faithfully using them daily.
However, as an update to this, boredom started setting in during my exercise with them. Boredom in exercise for me is as mustard to a hot dog. It just is.
However, I know my type 2 diabetes benefits from not only aerobic exercise but also from strength exercises like dumbbells so I had to figure out a work-around.
Enter my Roku-TV.
It fits under my arm and is as light as a feather so I decided to position it in front of my dumbbells and watch something interesting while I was working out. You know, “Christmas Vacation”, “Family Stone”, documentaries about planets etc.
Boredom kicked to the curb.
My dumbbells are again fulfilling their destiny.
Does your exercise bore you?
Figure out a way to untie that knot! Inertia will go down for the count!!
Simple workouts with them always seemed to be easy and effective. I could sit on a stool and do arm curls (I usually do 30 for each arm, 20 lbs) without too much hassle or disruption to my day (remember, I HATE to exercise).
And I know from my #diabetes research that strength exercises can have a super positive impact on diabetes numbers, working in concert with diet and aerobic exercise.
Then I lost my dumbbells.
I am not sure other to say that some other-worldly creature must have stolen them while I slept and relocated to an obscure corner of my house. I hate it when things like this happen!
However, about a year after this theft, I rediscovered my dumbbells in the aforementioned obscure corner of my house.
And then I faced a new obstacle … motivating myself again to actually use them.
How to overcome, yet once more, my old nemesis, inertia.
Here’s how I did it, listen carefully … I got a stool and placed in the hall of my home where I would see it everyday and have to intentionally walk around it. I then walked over to the dumbbells, picked them up, sat on the stool and did 10 reps on each arm (arm curls).
Then I did it the next day.
Then I did it the next day.
It has been 3 weeks now and I have increased the number of repetitions every couple of days.
My arms feel fabulous.
But I had to encumber my hall to do it.
You see, I have to do all sorts of crazy things to defeat inertia however I won this round.
You too may have to get creative but you can do it.
At any rate, I am on a roll with my newly-found dumbbells, feeling great and loving it.
BTW, we recently took a trip to a second home and guess what? My dumbbells were packed in the car and traveled with us.
So even though my dumbbells’ story had a tragic turn, it has all ended up just fine.
I challenge you to buy some dumbbells at weights comfortable for you to lift.
And then put a stool in your hall! Your #A1C numbers will thank you!
We are in the midst of another #covid lockdown, this time much more restrictive.
Somehow the thought has gotten into my head that exercise (walking, running, whatever) is going to be tougher for me during this season. Somehow, I have begun thinking “oh no! I am going to just shut down my physical movement!”
Keep in mind that my #diabetes is saying “Please get off your butt and get out the front door and move!!! We need this!” Actually my #diabetes is not just saying this, it is SCREAMING this!
In my mind, I see #inertia and #diabetes wrestling each other. One is going to win, trust me.
This is the point of this blog, to make sure #inertia does not win.
To make sure #ExerciseAndDiabetes walks away with the trophy.
As I write this today, I am in the middle of this internal wrestling match.
But I am here to say, once this piece is completed, I am going to get off the couch and out the front door.
#Covid has put a big dent in my exercise, for a number of reasons. You may have found this also.
Exercising is hard enough without ANY additional headwinds. And when we encounter a new obstacle or setback, well … you know the rest of the story.
Often our motivation goes into the toilet.
Soooo, long story short, this outhouse experience happened to me, yours truly.
Before I knew it, inertia had sneaked up on me, motivation went out the door and it was three weeks before I realized I had done NOTHING insofar as exercise was concerned. Let me repeat … NOTHING. Zip. Zero. Nada.
How did I get out of this?
It was hard. It was brutal. I was extremely inconsistent. I kept trying to establish a pattern of exercise. I kept failing. It was weird, quite frankly.
I just couldn’t get it going. At all.
So I finally, after a gazillion failures, made it out the door for a great walk one day. Then the next. Then the next. And suddenly my routine was going again.
I do this for a number of reasons … my #diabetes improves with every little bit of exercise that I do. Exercise is also a wonderful mood-elevator.
Mark Twain said the only difference between a rut and a grave is its depth.
Are you in the kind of rut that I fell into? I wish I had a magic key to give you so you could unlock this conundrum but persistence is the only thing I can offer up.
Just keep trying, don’t give up.
Giving up is not what we are about, is it?
[Author’s note: if you enjoy this writing, consider purchasing my book! “42 Ways to Motivate the Sedentary Diabetic to Actually Exercise” – here is the LINK ]
There will come that day when you absolutely do not want to begin exercising at all. There are a myriad of reasons that cloud your mind and press you back down to the couch so inertia keeps you from moving out the front door.
These are the tough days that you must tackle and overcome. Your type 2 #diabetes may well depend on it. Experience too many of these days and you will lose a valuable ally in your journey to health.
This is when you have to talk to yourself. You have to remind yourself that regardless of how you feel, you must act on what you know. And what you know is that you must get moving.
Oh sure, it is cold outside. And that will make your walk slightly uncomfortable. Or it is raining outside and you must go to your mall or your gym to either walk or workout. But you must overcome this. And you must overcome the inertia by talking to yourself.
Something like this:
-> I am going to exercise today regardless how I feel.
-> I really enjoy exercise once I get into it and today will be no different.
-> I will not let laziness stand in the way of the healthy benefits that I get through exercise
-> I grow stronger when I exercise, especially when I don’t feel like it.
It is amazing how powerful self talk is. It can literally move you from a demotivated sedentary human being to a motivated person getting on with life. And it is all within our power.
#Swimming just might be the very best exercise there is for a #diabetic. It is low impact and high aerobic. And you are as likely to find swimmers over age 80 as you are under the age of 30 in any fitness center or YMCA pool.
The downside of #swimming obviously is that you need a pool.
With walking, you just put your shoes on and walk out the front door. With swimming, you need a pool. Not a problem, virtually every fitness center or YMCA has one and they usually are parts of the fitness center that open before any other part, often before five in the morning.
If this appeals to you, take the first step and find a pool. Overcome the inertia and locate a facility that will accommodate you.
Trust me, it’s not hard.
There’s even a competitive swimming program called #MastersSwimming for those adults who would like to compete in swim tournaments. I have gone to a few of these and there is nothing more heartwarming than seeing a few 70-year-olds battling it out in the backstroke.
When they get out of the pool, they look far better than most of their peers and if they are #diabetic, they have added satisfaction of knowing that they are doing something wonderful for their condition.
Let’s face it, there is something compelling when we schedule something on our calendar. We are more apt to follow through and keep a commitment that is on our calendar than one that is not.
It always helps me personally to proactively plan my exercise in the future by committing it to my calendar. If you use a paper calendar, pencil it in. If you use an electronic/phone calendar, then schedule it and you will have an automatic reminder.
I hate to work out, you might also but we know our #diabetes will thank us for getting out the door and into some activity, right?
There is something about human nature that simply makes this work. Let’s make it work on our behalf to help us manage our #diabetes better.
Thank you Mr Calendar!
(Author’s note: I have published a book for diabetics who hate to exercise, ’42 Ways to Motivate the Sedentary Diabetic to Actually Exercise’ … written primarily for my always inactive self … click HERE to purchase on Amazon, purchase and give away to friends and family who need it … purchase and send to your local diabetes society for distribution and if you cannot afford it, let me know)