Most articles we read on managing type 2 diabetes include at least a passing glance at exercise. I know few diabetics who enjoy exercise especially if it’s lifting weights or strenuous aerobic exercise. I hate working out but try at least two months every year doing resistance training…usually during Lent. That’s coming up soon.
Most articles on diabetic exercise stress that any exercise for a half hour a day is productive. Of course, winter robs us of an opportunity for some heavy gardening, hiking or golf which are my favorite means of exercise. When I golf, I usually walk the course instead of using a cart.
The lengthy nature trails in our community are great during warm weather but iffy in winter especially with all the snow we’ve had in Northern Virginia this year. I spent several months stuffing a backpack with heavy rocks on my daily walk. I ran out of rocks from my favorite rock pile but collected enough to build a couple of small retainer walls on either side of our entry walk.
Gardening at our place needs much work with a shovel especially some landscaping. However, the heaviest work is done by late spring.
I do most of the housework and my wife handles most of the cooking. That gives some exercise, but I’ve never been a neat freak. I do a little every day and supplement it with running in place and pushups. I have exercise bands and dumbbells for modest resistance training.
I’ve tried several workout programs over the years. The best was a program called “Body for Life.” It’s resistance training performed aerobically. The program needs three days of intense aerobics like a Stairmaster for 20 minutes plus three days of 45 minute resistance training. The resistance training consists of 12 exercises that increase in intensity with each set. It was effective but doesn’t grow flowers or veggies nor give the pleasure of a rare 250 yard drive. Walking to a nearby gym and the workout takes least an hour and a half each time.
Sometimes I spend 12 or more hours working behind a computer screen. If I have deadlines it’s difficult to leave the computer. I’ve learned not to go for more than two hours before doing some push-ups or running in place. Running in place at a rapid level for a minute until my heart rate increases gets excellent results for me. Even once in the morning and once in the afternoon gives me an all-day metabolism burn.
Recently I noticed these brief exercises were as effective as a half hour walk so I did some research. The web was alive with workouts that only took twelve minutes you needed to do only once a week. I’m all for putting pain behind me as quickly as possible.
Some current theories suggest shorter, more intense workouts are more productive than hours in the gym. Dr. Mercola has a program he calls Peak Fitness Training or high intensity interval training. According to him this training “gives a natural boost to human growth hormone (HGH) production—which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor—and has been shown to significantly improve insulin sensitivity, boost fat loss, and increase muscle growth.”
This training has several methods including 30 seconds of high intensity exercise followed by 30 seconds of recovery. This was close to my work break exercises. The Mercola article claimed as little as three minutes a week could improve health.
The best workout I discovered was on a blog named Melruns.com. It’s a twelve minute workout that needs no weights or fancy gym equipment…just you and your body. It is intense. I tried it for the first time this week and could do about six minutes or half a workout. After I finished I felt like I’d worked out for an hour. My energy level went up and there was no soreness the next day. I see it as a great supplement to my current modest exercise program, but don’t plan to do it more than three times a week.
If you want a fast diabetic workout, give this some consideration.
This is the Melruns.com 12 minute workout