Exercise is very important in managing type 2 diabetes. Combining diet, exercise, and medicine (when prescribed) will help control your weight and blood sugar level. In her book, The Diabetic Athlete, Sheri Colberg-Ochs says, "Exercise can be a vital component in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes when used in conjunction with diet, oral medications, and insulin therapies" (p. 79).4
Kelly Love Johnson was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in her 30s. She says:
When I was initially diagnosed, it was difficult because I worked so much. I joined a gym that had TVs on their treadmills and made it a priority. I figured I had time to watch TV in the evenings, so I may as well walk while I did it! One of my tricks is that I'd try to get to the gym before one of my favorite shows started. I walked at a fairly fast pace during the show and sprinted (at 5.5) during commercials. Sprints are a great way to burn fat, and if I knew I only had to do them during commercials, it was like a carrot on a stick for me. Did I mention that I hate to exercise? I'm not a gym person, so when my membership expired, I looked for other ways to get cardio, bought a bicycle, and had a great time bicycling around my neighborhood. At the end of2008, when I
found myself working from home again, I got a super active puppy so I would be forced to get out of bed in the morning and exercise first thing. I still walk (with the dog) between 2.5 and 5 miles a day, but the great thing about where I live now is that it's a hilly area, so even just walking (especially up those hills) is good cardio for me.
I began running to control my blood sugar levels and I am still running 25 years later because it makes me feel strong. When I was diagnosed, I had a doctor who gave me a positive first impression of living with diabetes. I'm thankful because he gave me a prescription to live a healthy life. Running became a tool to manage my health. When my blood sugar levels were high, I knew there was something (other than the dreaded shot) I could do to help myself feel better. I have diabetes and I am a runner.
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