Living with diabetes blog

Losers are winners

By Nancy Klobassa Davidson, R.N. and Peggy Moreland, R.N. December 28, 2010

I'm a big fan of the TV show "The Biggest Loser." I religiously follow the show each week and am inspired by the contestants. They're from all walks of life — single, married, male, female, and of all ages.

I've also noticed the effect of their participation in the show on their communities back home. Many of them have family members at home who are losing weight with them. This tells me that we can be more active and lose weight at home and in our communities, too. So, even though it's winter in Minnesota, I decided to look for ways that I can increase physical activity in my daily life. No more excuses about being too busy!

Here are a few ways that I've resolved to fit more physical activity into my routine.

At work I can:

  • Walk up and down two flights of stairs during work breaks, gradually increasing the number of flights over time. There are 19 floors in my building, so I should be able to get 30 minutes of aerobic exercise just doing that!
  • Walk for 30 minutes during my lunch break through the underground tunnel system on my work campus. The public library is at least three blocks away and can be reached through this tunnel system.
  • Walk to a local park during my lunch break, when the weather becomes warmer.
  • Park as far from the elevator as possible.
  • Walk more briskly in my daily activities when possible.

At home I can:

  • Take an extra lap or two around the grocery store/department store.
  • Walk to my mailbox instead of picking my mail up by car.
  • Walk to turn off the TV instead of using the remote.
  • Do arm lifts using water bottles while watching TV.
  • Walk up and down the stairs a few times before taking a shower in the morning.
  • Start a new walking DVD with my husband.

Well, it's a start. I figure that anything I do to increase physical activity is better than nothing. It's also harder to eat while moving around, and I'll burn more calories!

Studies have shown that aerobic exercise benefits are cumulative. You essentially gain the same health benefits from taking three 10-minute walks throughout the day as you do from taking one 30-minute walk. So you don't have to go to a gym every day. You can break your activity goal into manageable pieces that fit into your day.

Time for a break! Off to the stairs...

What are some ways that you can increase physical activity in your daily life?

Peggy

Dec. 28, 2010