It might seem like that at first. It sure was for me, the original couch potato. Even bending over to pick up the daily newspaper was too difficult for me without a tool that grabbed it for me. My legs were so weak that I had to use my hands to get up from my easy chair or to get off the pot.
But exercise grows on you if you start small and slow to give yourself some initial successes. It eventually becomes a positive addition, where it's not fun to not exercise.
Good thing too. Because unless we make exercise fun, we won't exercise.
That's not something we can allow. Getting a lot of regular exercise is absolutely essential for controlling our diabetes.
Not too long ago, when I entered Rocky Mountain National Park, the ranger said to me, "Have fun." I was startled. At that time I had always thought of my hikes in the park as a workout and never as fun.
I do now. In fact, I now make it my practice to say to people I meet on the trail, "Have fun."
Many people say that exercise is both the hardest and most important control tool we have. I know that it's right up there with good nutrition and weight loss.
What else is there for controlling our diabetes? At first, only one other tool -- medication. But ideally we control our diabetes without any drugs, all of which have unwanted side effects.
Many people with type 2 diabetes can eventually control their diabetes with exercise and diet alone. For some of us that can be enough incentive to get started down the exercise path.
Everyone needs different exercises, which strengthen different muscles. If diabetes has already made hiking or even a short walk too difficult for you, the best alternative can be using the pool for water aerobics and swimming. If you live in a huge metropolitan area, finding nearby mountain trails for your regular exercise can be out of the question.
Another type of exercise that all of us -- particularly those as old as I am -- need is to improve our balance. This exercise takes only a minute or so at a time and is a lot more fun when we have to wait on something than twiddling our thumbs.
And what you love to do is almost certainly different from what I love to do. But there are exercises that you like and can grow to love.
The trouble is that getting started on a regular exercise program can be daunting. It's hard to literally get up off of the couch or easy chair and take control of your life. But each time you do that it gets easier, and eventually it gets easier and more fun to exercise than not to exercise.
We all need challenges in every aspect of our lives to prevent the dread boredom from setting in and killing our will to experience the new. But I know from my own experience that every time I step up to a new challenge I get a twinge of fear that I may not be able to do it.
"A little anxiety is a good thing," my favorite Certified Diabetes Educator tells me. "It makes you cautious." It also pumps up those hormones that give you the energy you need to meet your newly set challenge.