Baby steps

I often get accused of not emphasizing exercise enough when I talk to patients. It’s not that I don’t think exercise is important. Just the opposite, actually–I think exercise is critical to health, especially for anyone who has blood sugar problems. In fact, I believe exercise is so important that I do it five to six times per week.

But what I emphasize initially in my New Hamptons Health Miracle is eating a better diet–and becoming more comfortable with your new improved way of eating before trying to add exercise into your life.

Taking things one at a time–baby steps, if you will–dramatically increases your chances of success.

Now, that said, once you’re comfortable with–and feeling good about–your new style of eating (and, really, it won’t take long with all of the delicious, decadent foods  you’ll be enjoying on my program)…THEN you can start thinking about adding exercise into the mix.

And here’s even more good news: When you’re ready to start exercising, it doesn’t have to be an intense workout regimen. In fact, research has shown that you don’t have to do all that much exercise to see major improvements in your life.

A recent study published in the journal Diabetes Care reported that a simple walking program improved quality of life in people with diabetes and peripheral arterial disease.

Peripheral arterial disease affects your legs, causes you to have bruises or cuts that won’t heal, but most of all, it leads to pain, numbness, and tingling. This is one of the worst consequences of diabetes and blood sugar disturbances. And until now, there has been almost nothing that has shown any promise in helping the pain and suffering that  peripheral arterial disease causes. So if something as simple as walking can help (or hopefully prevent it from ever happening to you), it’s well worth a 15-minute stroll each day.

Of course, if you are inclined to do more, that’s great. But don’t feel guilty if you can’t. It’s taken me many years to work up to my own six-days-a-week exercise schedule. There’s nothing wrong with starting simple. And even an evening stroll around the block a few nights a week will still go a long way towards making you slimmer, healthier, and diabetes-free.