February 10, 2015

Help in Diabetes Management Education – Part 9

Part 9 of 12

Exercise can be a contentious topic for some people. I agree because too often the doctor or other healthcare professional just orders exercise and suggests walking or jogging. I even become upset when they do this to me and I ask them if they have heard of weight lifting, dancing, swimming, or other types of exercise.

I ask if aerobics is not considered exercise or if because it is recommended to do some resistance exercise with aerobics that they don't consider this exercise. I sort of get in their face and ask why they only consider walking and jogging as exercise. Do they even know that the person is capable of jogging or the area in which they can walk is even safe? I then ask if they know that the person will enjoy walking or jogging and why they do not recommend the period of time for walking and jogging.

I am probably the last person they want talking about this, as they know now that I just don't let it go. One doctor asked me to write something up for his office to use. I was a fool for not making copies of what I wrote for him more than three decades ago. I did a lot of research and talked to several people in the business side of training people and those that supplied different equipment. It amounted to more than 15 typed and double spaced pages. I thought all had been lost when the doctor died about 13 years ago, until last month when another patient of his asked me one day if I knew of a paper on exercise written by a person with the same name.

I asked him which doctor he had received it from and when he said the doctor's name, I asked if I could get a copy of it. I now have a copy and it is what I had written with a few notes and other references added. Now I can rewrite it and keep it.

An important part of any exercise regimen is doing something you enjoy, as this will help you maintain it. Please read this by Tom Ross. This is not his normal place for exercise, but he makes use of it.

When it comes to changes in lifestyles, my blog about components of lifestyle changes is a good blog to read. This will vary from person to person as not everyone will need to change every component, but others will need to change many of the components,  This blog may also help. The last blog is also about lifestyle changes, but emphasizes lifestyle changes over medications, which is refreshing.

Food plan changes and exercise seem to be the changes most often emphasized. I do believe that these are necessary, but there are other changes that can help as well. Please be careful with stress, as this is one of the most damaging and can cause any food plan to blow up and cause weight gain and make diabetes more difficult to manage.

Stress in managing your diabetes can be very upsetting for some. Another term for this is burnout as you are the only person in charge of managing your diabetes. Yes, your doctor can give your tips and advice, but in the 15 minutes that you see him or her, this will not be a lot of help. Consider that about half an hour or an hour out of the year, that you see the doctor, the responsibility rests on you, the person with diabetes.
This can cause stress and even depression. This needs to be recognized and if you have family, they can help reduce the stress by supporting you. Unfortunately, they can also increase stress. Exercise can reduce and possibly eliminate much stress.

1 comment:

Denise said...

Great point about not prescribing one particular type of physical activity! When people ask me for exercise recommendations, I generally say, "Find something you enjoy doing, then do it at a comfortable pace for a period of time that's sustainable for you a few days a week." It seems as humans we're programmed to think that we need to go great gangbusters at whatever we start instead of easing into it. With a chronic disease such as diabetes, this isn't a sprint, it's a marathon, and you need to make slow, sustainable changes that don't add to the stress of all the many health management decisions you have to make every day. Slow and steady wins the race.