Exercise is important in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Among the many reasons why working out helps people with diabetes, one is that it contributes to maintaining a good blood glucose level.

In addition to its physical benefits, (e.g. lowering blood pressure, controlling weight, strengthening the body overall), exercise also contributes to relieving stress and improving mental health.

However, exercise does not come easy for everyone. If you are not usually physically active or do not particularly enjoy working out, here are some other (hopefully) fun ways to incorporate exercise into your everyday life:

Instead of: Running on the treadmill
Try: Running outside

Running at a gym can get monotonous, even if you’re listening to music or watching TV. Taking a jog outside allows you to exercise, enjoy nature and give you a breath of fresh air.

Things you may need to invest in:
• Cell phone armband — you may want to listen to music on your run.
• Wireless earphones — you can move more freely with these than wire earphones.
• Fitness device or app — if you’re running around your neighborhood and want to know how much or how far you’re running, download a phone app or buy a device.

Instead of: Running in general
Try: Swimming, biking or ice skating

If you don’t find running enjoyable, take on swimming, biking or ice skating. Although they may seem easier, they give you just as much benefits as running. As well as giving you an intense cardio workout, you can also work out different muscles in your body. Don’t know how to swim, bike or ice skate? Take lessons!

Things you may need to invest in:
• Lessons, fees to use facilities
• Swim gear/accessories (e.g. swimsuit, swim cap, goggles, etc.)
• Biking gear/accessories (e.g. bicycle, helmet, etc.)
• Ice skating gear/accessories (e.g. ice skates, gloves, etc.)

Instead of: Working out by yourself
Try: Working out with a group

Whether it is exercising with a group of friends or taking group lessons, being with others can help keep you accountable. Take classes at a local studio or gym — yoga, Zumba, dance, Pilates, boxing, lifting, cycling — or schedule a regular time to meet with some friends to take a lap around the block.

Things you may need to invest in:
• Lessons

Instead of: Actually working out
Try: Incorporating exercise into your lifestyle

If working out is still a struggle for you, don’t worry! There are many daily activities that can get your heart pumping like exercise does. Instead of taking the easy route, go the extra mile to get those steps in. Have fun with it, and you can be productive at the same time.

• Walking the dog
• Cleaning the house
• Organizing
• Gardening

Happy exercising!

Author: Julie Kang

Photo courtesy of Dissolve