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Two people are practicing yoga in a studio; a woman is in bridge pose while a man is in a downward dog with blocks supporting his hands, a rolled up towel and water bottle by his legs.

Exercise Within Your Capacity!

Raise your hands, please. At this time in your life, how many of you see yourself:

  1. Starting to jog
  2. Starting to run
  3. Doing hot yoga
  4. Starting/doing resistance training
  5. Starting/doing interval training
  6. Swimming laps
  7. Starting/doing aquatic training
  8. Starting/doing cycling

Unrealistic and unsafe messages about exercise

The dialogue bubble over my head says “Seriously?” What got me thinking about this was I received an email newsletter from a diabetes organization that recommended many of these exercises. Since context is important, I had to take a step back. The newsletter was intended for all folks with diabetes, not just those of us with Type 2. Ok. Context noted. Each time I see the picture accompanying the article I have an emotional reaction. I shake my head, I feel a bit betrayed, and if I’m honest, I feel a bit angry. It is of six hard bodies, all under 30 years of age, all holding a weight out in front with outstretched arms while in a squat position. I have to ask myself if they field tested that picture. I think not. It was a complete turn-off. As was the article.

Take baby steps with exercise

I’m not saying I’m not capable of trying some of these exercises. I’m not saying a modified version of some of these exercises wouldn’t be possible. What I am saying is there has to be a message of “Start Slow, Go Slow.” ‘Training’ to me implies serious exercise that requires a ‘trainer’ so you don’t hurt yourself. Do we really want to ignore our safety? These exercises will lower our A1C. There is a high probability that taking care of one problem (our A1C) will create another problem (injury). Is it worth it? No, it’s not.

Exercise within your capacity

Out of that list, many people may be able to try or do some of those exercises but it has to be with modification. For me, running and jogging are out. My asthma won’t tolerate it even with the best meds. I could try yoga; hot yoga with hot flashes, well, that just makes me laugh when I picture myself laying on the floor in a puddle whining for it to end. I can try resistance bands and online videos of gentle ways to use them. I love to swim so again, a possibility. I enjoy riding my bike too. There are many reasonable exercises I can do and many I already do. There was no mention about walking in that article. Walking is a safe exercise many people can do and the benefit is huge! Articles like the one I received make no sense to me. The message is wrong and potentially dangerous.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not advocating for us all to sit on our butts. Exercise is good. Exercise helps our diabetes. Exercise is essential for all people, diabetic or not. There’s no question. And, many folks can do those types of exercises without injury and even enjoy it. (shiver)

I just worry about the unsafe, unqualified messaging. Exercise without a brain is not ok. Exercise being advocated for by a reputable organization that could present harm is not ok either.

Please be safe with any exercise you attempt. And read those type of articles with a critical eye.

Have you ever been given questionable exercise advice? Share with us in the comments below!

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Type2Diabetes.com team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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