Exercise has a tremendous impact on the quality of your life! You will feel better, have fewer problems related to Type 2 Diabetes, and look better if you exercise regularly. But finding time is a major problem. For years, I went to work at 7:30 am and worked till 5 pm every day. I teach at a university and my time was spent sitting in front of a computer, sitting in front of a desk, or standing in front of a class. I didn’t get a lot of exercise and it showed. I weighed in at 250 lbs and I could barely get up off the floor if I laid down.
After my diagnosis, I decided to get ready for a 30 mile bike ride as part of the Tour De Cure fundraiser organized by the American Diabetes Association. It was a great experience and you can learn more about it by watching my documentary: The Crimson Rider. I lost weight and felt pretty good after training for the ride and actually completing it. But after that, I found it hard to find time to ride my bike (trike). Getting the trike out, making sure the tires had air, and fixing whatever little problem had occurred in my crowded garage took time. I would ride through my neighborhood but that quickly became boring. I would drive to bike trails but that took even more time. If it rained or was cold, I had no desire to ride at all! Soon, I was barely riding. Some Crimson Rider!
The weight crept back up and the A1C went with it. Soon, I was back where I started.
I needed exercise that didn’t take a long time to prep or complete. I didn’t have time to drive to gyms or bike trails. I also needed a routine that was inexpensive and didn’t take much time.
Here’s what I did. I made radical changes so I could fight Type 2 Diabetes! I asked my chairperson not to schedule me for 8 am classes. I would come in at 9 am. I set the alarm for 6 am, went downstairs and ate my 30 carb breakfast. I cleaned up the dishes and took care of some daily chores and by 7:30 am I was in my family room in front of the computer watching YouTube.
Charlie O’Connell is the founder of Fitscript and the Glucosezone. He is a fitness trainer who has a YouTube channel with exercise videos for people with Diabetes. I started with level 1 of the D Fight Series which focuses on interval training: short bursts of hard exercise (40 seconds) followed by 20 seconds of light exercise. There are three people in each video. One is doing a very gentle form of each exercise. One does a moderate form; the last does an intense form. I stared with the gentle exercises which, believe me, were difficult for me at the time. The full video takes approximately 30 minutes.
I committed to completing the exercise every day but Sunday. I teach Sunday school and wanted the morning to prepare and go over my notes. My wife joined me for exercise which is very important and I’ll talk more about family support in another blog post. There were days when I couldn’t exercise because of some scheduling problem but I felt that I was doing my part as long as I worked out 4-5 times a week. Rain and cold were no longer a problem. I was finished by 8 am. I showered and went to work, there by 9 am. I could enjoy the rest of my day knowing my exercise was done and I had done my part to battle my Diabetes with exercise designed to fight my disease!
Eventually, I was doing the moderate exercise within the video and then the intensive exercise. Within one year and in conjunction with a 130 carb diet, my blood sugars were back under control (A1C of 5.7 as the day I am writing this) and my weight continues to drop (215 lbs today). We recently moved on to Level 2 of the D Fight Series presented by Charlie O’Connell on YouTube. The exercise is short, free, convenient, weather-proof, and private! I love it!
I encourage you to give the Fitscript exercises a try. They offer several different videos including one you can do from a chair. All you need is an hour to work out and clean up because you will sweat! You won’t see dramatic results for about 6 months in my experience. Then, you’ll start to see dramatic results that will greatly encourage you! If necessary, rearrange your schedule so that you can dedicate that hour every day. For me, 7:30 am works best! For you, it may be right after work, before bed, or something else. Try to set that hour aside every day. Don’t kick yourself if you miss a day. As long as you work out 4-5 times a week, you’ll get there! Don’t worry if all you can do is the gentlest form of exercise. That’s good enough, especially to start.
So, do you have any suggestions for other forms of exercise that can help your fellow Crimson Riders? Post them below! I still ride my trike but now for fun and a little bonus exercise! Please like this post and share it so your friends who have Pre-Diabetes, Diabetes, or have loved ones with Diabetes can see this and get some encouragement!
We’re in this fight together and we’re going to win! Till next time!
A Crimson Rider