Last time, we touched on how to transition from your current way of eating to a “diabetes-friendly” diet. Making healthier food choices is critical to coping with type 2 diabetes, but may not be enough for you to cut any last changes. This is where exercise comes into play.
Exercise can be difficult, especially if you’re unfamiliar with it. Yes, a gym membership might be good, but what do you do while you’re there in order to get the most bang for your buck? You could work out at home, but how do you know you’re having much of an effect? Much like last time, we’re going to take a look at beneficial workout plans and combine them into a personal, comprehensive workout regimen you can follow anywhere.
There’s no workout regimen that can magically turn you into Dwayne Johnson overnight. It takes constant, consistent work and effort. Even the most amount of effort will yield minimal results at first. But if you’re committed, progress will come with time.
Remember to talk to your healthcare provider before beginning any exercise regimen.
HIT THE GYM
When it comes to consistent, time-consuming workouts, you’ll find that your local gym is your best option. Having a variety of equipment at your disposal opens your mind to experiment and see which machines/options work best for you. Plus, the added incentive of money spent on a gym membership can be a strong motivating factor to work out consistently, if not every day.
It’s important to start small. Spend your first week at the gym becoming familiar with your surroundings. Try to utilize different machines and see what effect they have on you. But don’t use machines for the sake of using them. Always try to stick to a structure. In this case, your structure should consist of cardio, abdominal workouts and weight training. Try to stick to machines that work on those three groups.
Starting off with a 15-minute set on the treadmill, for example, can be a great start to your workout. Not only are you burning calories, you’re mentally preparing yourself for what’s to come.
Once you’re off the treadmill, it’s time to work on your weight training. Of course, you can use dumbbells or the bench press, but there are other machines designed for different muscle types if you’re taking it slow. Each machine deals with a different muscle, so pick 3-4 different ones per day. Find a weight you’re comfortable working with and add 5 extra pounds. Working outside your comfort zone can be critical, as complacency can lead to a comfortable but ineffective workout. Do 3 sets of 10 repetitions on each machine and move on.
Ab training is notoriously difficult. No matter how much time you sink into it, you might feel like you aren’t making any progress. Subtle changes in your diet will reinforce everything you do here, so be sure to supplement your work at the gym with, the diet we talked about last time. They’re different machines that can help you work on your abs specifically. Start with those, and then do 3 sets of 20 sit-ups followed by a 30 second plank. Repeat the machine-sit-up-plank workout three times.
Now that you’ve worked out, your main three groups it’s time for a cool-down. A bike or elliptical is recommended for this. Take it slow — it’s called a cool-down for a reason. Work on either machine for 15 to 30 minutes. After that, you’ll be done for the day. Try to change what you do at the gym every day you’re there, and add 5 pounds of extra weight every week. I f you try 5 extra pounds on some machines and can’t quite handle it yet, stick to the weight you worked with the week before.
Of course, exercise comes in many forms. It doesn’t necessarily mean lifting weights and running on the treadmill 60-90 minutes per day. Going on a morning or evening walk, jog, or run can be great cardio and can even supplement some of the work you do at the gym. Buying small dumbbells and lifting them at home to retain muscle mass is another great method. In your leisure, do sit-ups and ab crunches while watching Tv or listening to music. Other methods like Tai Chi are also at your disposal should you feel inclined to try it. Consistency is key when it comes to exercise and the more you do it, especially outside of the gym, the better your body will adapt to the work you’ve already been doing.
WORK OUT AT WORK?
But what about work? A 9-to-5 job can definitely get in the way of your workout regimen. It’s not as though you can break out in your best sweats and start pumping iron at your desk, but there are subtle ways to keep up your exercise while at work. Take a walk on your lunch break; even walking to the water cooler or the bathroom is better than nothing.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOUR OFF-HOURS
At the end of the workday, make time to hit the gym. Most gyms close late during the week, so take advantage. You’ll feel even more refreshed when you get home. If you’re working a night shift, try to go a few hours before your shift, so you can still go back home and get ready. If you’re willing, you can make time to work out anywhere in your schedule.
From here, it’s important to remember that your workout should be consistent, but never stagnant. Never do the same workout two days in a row. Constantly evolve your workout into one that works best for you. These suggestions are a means to build a template for yourself. Your exercises may vary, but the building blocks should always remain the same: cardio, muscle training, abs, cool-down. There are various machines that cater to any number of styles, so experiment and keep trying new things. As long as you stick to your core goals, any workout you do will be beneficial.