Need advise on exercise

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Hi

Newly diagnosed yesterday with a reading of 46 in the 42-47 range.  So I spent yesterday researching after reading the little booklet.  I've got a handle on the diet/losing weight, I think, as I had joined WeightWatchers recently, and now need to tailor my meals to monitor carbs more closely, increase good veggies and cut out all bad treats/snacks even if I have the points! 

But my question is about exercise and I would welcome any suggestions.  My problem is I can't stand for more than a few minutes or walk more than a few metres without crutches/stick, as I have a twisted pelvis, crumbled discs, hip erosion and osteoarthritis.  So walking is not an option for me.  I used to power walk 5 miles, 5 times a week but had to stop 2 years ago due to the back problems.  I'm also miles from the nearest swimming pool and it's very expensive for a pensioner like me, both for the entrance and petrol costs.  I certainly couldn't afford it 5 times a week as has been suggested.

I see the Nurse Adviser at my GP practice next month with 4 weeks food monitoring records, but is there anything I can do to help myself in the meantime?  Thanks everyone.

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  • Posted

    An increasing number of diabetics are now turning to yoga, to keep diabetes in control and improve their overall quality of life. While yoga is already known to reduce blood pressure, enhance mobility, alleviate stress and improve overall wellbeing, it is still not as popular for naturally managing diabetes. There are various yoga poses to manage diabetes.Yoga and Diabetes – How to Keep Diabetes in Control with Yoga.
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    • Posted

      Thanks - I'll certainly look this up for standing positions.  I only have forward movement in my right hip, no sideways or back movement so I'll have to see how it goes.  I certainly can't sit cross legged - in fact following a knee fracture earlier this year I can't kneel or get up off the floor without great difficulty.

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  • Posted

    Hello Felinia, quite a pickle you're in. Sounds like the biggest challenge is getting enough of a workout without the amount of movement you normally would have. You’ll have to experiment and see what your body can tolerate. Maybe you can use the pool once or twice a week for cardio and do strength training and abs at home.

    If you’re able to and have access to a stationary bicycle, that could be an option for you.

    Can you do floor exercises? Or chair exercises? The chair exercise might not be strenuous enough.

    You might check out public access channels amd see if there are any gentle movement programs- light yoga or shows like “Sit and Be Fit”.  “Classical Stretch” is another one. You might be able to find something free on Youtube. 

    You might benefit from some exercise bands for resistance or some light weights. You can use canned foods as (cheap) light weights or plastic water bottles of various sizes for heavier. You can adjust the weight with water bottles by changing the amount of water in them.

    If nothing else, you can sit in a chair and do some seated marching movements with arm motions. Or lie on your back on the floor with your legs up in the air and do a floor bicycle workout for cardio.

    Pilates might be an option for you or a ballet bar type of workout. Both are slow and include strength and stretch in the same exercises. This might be the best longterm approach for you. 

    There are strengthening exercises that require little movement, such as “Superman”. You lie on the floor on your stomach and extend arms and legs straight. Then lift the arms and legs up to make a gentle curve so your body is in a flat “U” shape. This will feel extremely strenuous unless you’re in great shape. Hold the position for a count of ten while lifting and extending. Repeat as needed. As ypu build more strength, youll be able to hold the position longer.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your very comprehensive reply.  Unfortunately I don't have access to the bicycle.  I fractured my knee in January so still cannot kneel or get up from the floor easily.  But you reminded me that I do my knee physio lying on my bed or sitting in a chair, so I can certainly extend that to doing arm exercises, or some of the floor exercises on the bed.  Our local Women's group had a talk earlier this year about chair exercises and I'll certainly look online as well.  I have some tins of beans to use as weights.  These replies have prompted me to realise that I do some exercise already and can certainly extend what I do.  I had thought that because I'm not out pounding the roads or in the gym, I was doing nothing.  The U exercise sounds as though it might help my back.

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  • Posted

    Every little helps.

    Move your feet legs and arms a little while you are watching telly or reading a book.

    Be aware it is not only what you eat but when you eat it.

    Do not skip meals. 3 meals a day.

    Take care and keep in touch

    Sarah

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    • Posted

      Hi Sarah

      Thanks for the reply.  I got into the habit of moving my legs when I was doing physio after I fractured my knee earlier this year.  But I hadn't thought of extending it to my arms.  I now know what to do with my surplus tins of beans!  I am trying to eat breakfast between 8 - 9am, lunch between 1 - 2pm and dinner 5 - 6pm.  I can't remember where I heard it but I thought you shouldn't eat after 6pm.  As an old biddy I'm on various medications anyway so have to take them around meals.

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  • Posted

    Felinia,

    thanks for your post.

    I am not an expert, but I think you should try as much exercise as you can, without excessive strain.

    As far as diet is concerned it seems some recommend carbs with every meal, while other suggest minimizing carb consumption.

    But I agreee three meals a day is vital. Perhaps between meals you might have de-caff drinks, without sugar, or a piece of fruit.

    If anyone disagrees with my suggestions please let me know.

    Wishing you all the best.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply.  I only drink unsweetened de-caff tea or water, so that's not a problem.  I was told only one piece of fruit a day, and I've just had it mid-afternoon.  I had home made veggie soup with 60gm chopped chicken added for lunch.  The carbs issue is confusing and I've learned virtually everything has some carbs, so I'm basically cutting out bread, potato, rice and pasta.  To complicate things I'm gluten intolerant, so no flour based products.  But I am having 30gm gluten free porridge oats daily and the rest of the carbs come from veggies, 170ml skimmed milk and various beans (haricot, cannellini etc).  Hopefully the Dietician will give me more guidance when I see her.

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  • Posted

    Hi Felinia, so sorry to hear about your mobility problems.

    What really helps diabetes is some mild aerobic exercise.  If you have a walker or a wheelchair (not electric!), just getting out with them and even going around the block two or three times, is amazingly helpful.

    You can try chair exercises while holding light weights, and a can of beans is as good as anything, though I've found that boring enough it's hard to make oneself do it for the necessary twenty or thirty minutes.

    Even tossing any kind of ball around, if you have an outdoor place to do so, might be preferable, one of these very cheap, inflated children's balls you can get anywhere.

    I wonder - can you find a seated karate class somewhere, that would be interesting!  Or maybe seated tai chi.

    But you are right to ask, the exercise element is very important, more than most doctors really let you know.

    Finally here is something else - cinnamon!  I've been trying that recently with excellent results (in my case I'm also taking metformin, and the cinnamon is still helpful!).  Just half a teaspoon per day, mixed into whatever you like.  It is guessed (!) that cinnamon may work on the "insulin resistance" side of things, almost like exercise.  And if you are going to make a habit of the cinnamon (because it works!) then you need to look into specifically the "Ceylon cinnamon", which is more expensive, the problem being that common cinnamon contains an ingredient that you don't want to eat too much of.

    You don't say that you're using a meter, people with lower readings typically aren't, but if you have a meter you can see what specific foods and specific exercises do to your BG readings.

    Your numbers are still low enough that really even modest amounts of exercise and diet should be able to keep you where you are or improve enough to keep even the doctors happy.  Good luck!

    Oh, one more - green tea!  I've had a morning cup of green tea for years, but recently been trying a cup of green tea in the evening in addition, and that seems to help my morning BG reading additionally.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the information.  I like cinnamon and I'll put it in my porridge!  I'll look into the health food shop for the Ceylon type.  Also I like green tea and it will make a change.  I also drink peppermint tea - don't know if that helps.  I'm not using a meter nor have I been put on Metformin - 2 of the questions I'll have to ask when I see a real person, not a disembodied voice on the end of the phone.  I'm going to try arm exercises whilst watching TV - that's how I did my leg exercises.  Used to drive people mad seeing me swinging my lower leg up and down whilst we were sitting around!  But it certainly got the knee flexible again, although still too tender to kneel on.  Unfortunately I'm very isolated where I live - miles from the nearest town and supermarket.  The downside of a nice country view and clean air!

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    • Posted

      Yes, hopefully it's picked up early and I can get on top of it.  I'm grateful to the NHS for the regular checks as I've had a number of issues over the years which have been dealt with swiftly.  I suspected I had a problem as I had all the symptoms except thirst and had already booked a GP appointment, when my annual blood test showed up the problem.  Sorry your numbers are not lower.  Sometimes it's the genes we are dealt with. 

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Felinia.  Oh sure, the genes, the diet, … some other factors.  Actually I had a sudden, severe attack but since then I've made very substantial recovery, and consider myself extremely lucky. Spent the last six months getting educated about it all.

      Actually, in case this ever gets relevant to you, in retrospect perhaps I should have taken it all more seriously earlier on, even with marginal numbers - that is, my doctors should have explained the implications and pushed the options.  I had gained a few pounds and they would not go away, and that was probably the first sign.  In retrospect if I had been given some metformin, a BG meter, and encouraged to count carbs, I would have avoided the attack - or certainly sought assistance on it more quickly.  Again, given what I went through I've been extremely fortunate, and my endocrinologist still gives me funny looks, like I'm doing something wrong by not being sicker!

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    • Posted

      Glad to hear you're getting on top of it.  After my accident, being stuck indoors with my leg elevated for 9 weeks, limited to microwave meals, I put on around 2 stone, and I think that's triggered things.  Then, although I suspected something was wrong, I kept telling myself because I wasn't thirsty it couldn't be diabetes.  Now I know I was wrong all I can say is I'm 100% motivated to shift the weight.  Also I want to get back into my wardrobe!

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    • Posted

      Fortunately I have neither of these - I was checked out.  It would probably be quicker to list what hasn't been checked!!  I have hiatus hernia, gastritis, hereditary glaucoma, high blood pressure, severe Diverticular Disease and was born with a back problem.  I was very active and sporty to quite a high level until recent years when the back problem caught up with me.  I've been told if I lose weight, everything except the glaucoma will improve and I'm 100% committed now.  This last year has been bad - just one thing after another and I think this diagnosis is the kick up the butt I needed.  Thanks for your support.

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