I laughed as I remembered what Richard told me about his exercise, or movement routine. At first I didn’t get it, what he was showing me, but then I saw what he was doing. He looked like he was lounging on the couch, and pointing an object toward the TV. Yes, I finally got it; he called it his “Remote Control Workout.” Changing the channels using his remote, on the “boob tube” was his current exercise regimen. Unfortunately it didn’t raise his heart rate, or improve his muscle mass which helps burn fat.
What could I possibly say or help him discover that might change his attitude toward “off the couch” exercises? Hmm, I needed to think about this…. I reviewed my prior notes, and previous conversations. His biggest fear was gaining more weight, and his greatest motivation was being able to play with his grandchildren.
Knowing both his fear and motivation were uniquely tied to the same solution, Richard and I began exploring possibilities, keeping both of those priorities top of mind.
You may have heard me say it, but it’s worth repeating: exercise is like “The Fountain of Youth” and it acts like you are adding insulin without injecting it! Who wouldn’t want that?
What Richard decided to do was to take his granddaughters dog for a daily walk. Since the grandchildren lived in the same household, it was convenient. The grandchildren also enjoyed the walks, but guess who got the most out of it? I’d like to say Richard did, but the dog lost more weight than Richard, however they both loved it. You might have guessed it, maybe not, the dog was also diabetic, who knew??? The dog was able to stop his insulin injections.
Actually Richard gained much from adding daily exercise, it improved his flexibility, and spending that time with his 3 grandchildren was such a valuable experience. On those walks wisdom was shared, and fearful situations his grandchildren faced were totally discussed, and their emotional health improved. In addition, since the gene for Type 2 diabetes had been passed on to his grandchildren, they learned early on what to do to avoid developing diabetes.
Overall it was a great success for all involved, except…. the remote control….. less activity for it is always better! If you have a dog who needs exercise too, consider taking it for walks daily, once you’ve been cleared by your health care provider, it’s safe for you to begin exercise.
If you’d like to find out more about exercise, and other tools to manage your diabetes, consider signing up for our Master series: “Diabetes Simplified: The 5 M’s to Managing Diabetes.