My Diabetes Type 2 Work Out Routine
The good news this week is that the morning weigh-in was 177.8. It looks like the regular gym time has helped break through the 179 to 181 pound fluctuating plateau I've been stuck at for the last two weeks. It has been a struggle to stay consistent, but I have made it in for some sort of workout for twelve of the last fourteen days. I have found that being prepared is very important. The last thing I do before leaving home every morning is make sure that my workout clothes are packed in the gym bag and the bag is in the back of the car, so there is one less excuse when I get off work. I also have committed to making the gym a mandatory stop on the way home each evening, even if it means getting a late start on dinner. I am not entirely happy with eating later in the evening, but it seems like a good trade off at the moment. I figure that consistency comes first and then I can focus on the quality of the workout. You can find any number of different opinions about how long it takes to break old habits or make new ones, so rather than looking to a particular number of weeks, I've decided that I can declare a new habit formed when it feels unnatural not be working out every day. By that measure, there is still quite a ways to go.
The workout itself is still very basic. In fact, I am a little embarrassed to call it a “workout.” Most folks who are serious about their exercise routine would consider it a light warmup, something you would do before starting a real workout. Most of time is spent on the treadmill. This is something I am trying to do daily. I set the machine for a half-hour with a five minute additional cool-down. I use the available interval setting, which alternates a faster pace on a steeper incline with slower sections with the belt set to level. Since the time is a constant, I have been trying to increase the pace and the total distance traveled in the thirty-five minute session. So far I am up to two miles. Not so great when I think back to my twenties when I could run three miles in fifteen minutes, but not too bad when I remember that climbing a flight of stairs left me out of breath just four months ago.
On alternate days I use the weight machines for an upper body workout. My younger son, the athlete, has been encouraging me to try free weights. I think I will stick to the machines for a while. It is easier to use correct form and faster to set up on the machines. Also, they substantially reduce the risk of my doing serious bodily injury to myself through clumsiness or being overly ambitious with the amount of weight. So far, I just go down the line on the arm, shoulder and upper back machines. If I have a little time, I add a short session on one or two of the machines that work your abdominal muscles. I am still more concerned with doing something than trying to refine what it is I do. I have been doing some reading and have discovered that there are as many opinions as to how to craft an exercise routine as there are recipes for how to cook a chicken. The next step will be to bring along a notebook and start trying to discover over time what works best for me individually.
As I noted above, all this does seem to be helping with my weight. It also still seems to be helping with my blood sugar numbers. I particularly notice lower numbers after the full workout of treadmill cardio plus strength training. I have also discovered the importance of proper foot care. When I opened the gym bag yesterday I found that while I had packed my shoes, I had not packed socks. So, foolishly, I put the shoes on over bare feet and did my two miles. I now have a small blister on the side of one foot and a missed workout today to show for it. It seems better this evening though, so tomorrow the extra thick socks will get packed and I will get back at it!