COMMUNICATION: Regarding Exercise
How to get your loved one with diabetes to make some moves for the better
The benefits of exercise for people with diabetes are well-documented. But the person you care for may resist efforts to engage in physical activity, no matter what you or the doctors say.
What can you do? For starters, stop nagging, says Richard R. Rubin, PhD, CDE, President of the American Diabetes Association and an Associate Professor in Medicine and in Pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Recognize that you can't make someone do anything, he says. Instead, ask the person in your care why exercise is so unpleasant and how you can make it more enjoyable.
An exercise plan has a better chance of succeeding if it includes activities the person enjoys. To make it more fun, suggest something you can do together. Perhaps taking a walk or following an exercise video.
Place a stationary bike or other exercise equipment in front of the TV to make the activity more appealing.
Start gradually and build up slowly, and consult an exercise specialist if you are uncertain how much is too much; strive for 30 minutes a day.
If mobility is an issue, ask a diabetes educator about armchair exercises.
Remind the person in your care that exercise will aid weight control and improve glucose and cholesterol levels, circulation and general well-being. It might also reduce the need for certain medications, and unlike medication, exercise in moderation has no harmful side effects.