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Life is busy! When there are competing demands on my time, here four strategies I use to prioritize exercise:

Identify the Optimal Workout Time

Right now 6:15 AM is my time. Early morning works for me because (for the most part) the rest of my life doesn’t get in the way. If something does interfere, I can often manage to squeeze in a little exercise later in the day (multiple short walks, evening run, etc.). Another huge motivator - I can dial back the insulin for a couple hours afterward.

Leverage Technology

With so many tech tools designed explicitly to support the pursuit of a healthy lifestyle, why not give some a try? Here’s what I’m using right now:

  • Garmin Connect logo Connect App Garmin Vívofit  – A birthday gift from my family.
  •  5K Runner App Logo 5kRunner App – With this $3 investment I got in shape for my first 5k.
  •  audible logo Audible.com – I got a Groupon for a 3-month trial and liked the service so much, I extended my membership. The trick? I don’t let myself listen to a book unless I’m out for a run.
  • Podcasts – Sometimes I change it up and listen to podcasts while I run. Current favorites include: The Moth, This American Life, New Yorker Fiction.
Recruit Friends and Family

I don't know about you, but I don't get to see enough of the people I care about. So here’s what I did:

  • I got a pedometer for my husband and challenged him to a steps competition. While I know the 10,000 steps are arbitrary, they still serve as a useful milestone. In fact, it was those 10,000 steps that inspired me to start running - because I didn’t have time to walk them all 10,000 of them.)
  • I invited friends to walk and/or run with me. It’s good for us all, right?
  • I invited a few other friends to go to Zumba with me. Just $5 a class at our local rec center. Great music, great company.
  • I signed up for a neighborhood 5k. Did I mention that I am was not a runner? (See what I did there? Now I am a runner.)
  • I invited my 11-year old to run with me on the weekends. (We take turns playing favorite songs for each other. I love learning what she’s into!)
  • I realized that my neighbor and I have memberships at the same gym. Now we go to the gym together.
Vary the Activities

Admittedly, I like routines, and I have to work at introducing variety. Here's what I'm doing now:

  • Cardio and weight lifting (2x/week)
  • Yoga (1x/week)
  • Running (2x/week)
  • Fast-walking (1x/week) or Hiking

How about you? How do you stay committed to exercise?Logo for 7th Annual Diabetes Blog Week

This post is part of Diabetes Blog Week.
The Prompt: Diabetes tips and diabetes tricks.
For more perspectives on this topic, click here.

I promised to share how LiveWell's Get Movin' Challenge is working for me.
It's been great so far! Since August 1, I have engaged in the following activities:

check-markenjoyed volleyball & picnic in the park with other families
check-markparticipated in the super fun Viva Streets (Coloradans, join me next year!)
check-markplayed tag at a park with my children
check-markswam while my kids had swim lessons
check-markbounced with my kids at an indoor trampoline park
check-markworked out at the gym 3-4 times per week
check-markhiked with my family
check-marktook my children to a roller rink and skated with them

Most days I exercised for more than 45 minutes. I found that even when I had met my daily exercise goal, I continued to seek additional opportunities to be active.

On the other hand, there were days - three of them - that I didn't squeeze in my 30 minutes. I made up for it by exercising twice as long the next day.

Since part of the goal I had set for myself was to try new forms of exercise, and I still haven't got to everything on my list, I'm taking the challenge into September.
Here's what's on deck:

  • go on a bike date with my husband
  • commit to one car-free (or walk-only or bike-only) day in September
  • add one class to my fitness routine (cycle or power yoga)
  • take my family on a hike
  • learn to swim better - take a lesson!

(As an added benefit, I have lost one pound.)

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Dancing Dude

I just signed up for LiveWell Colorado's Get Movin’ Challenge. For those who are unfamiliar with it, LiveWell Colorado is a nonprofit organization committed to reducing obesity in our state. The challenge invites Coloradans to commit to one month of physical activity – at least 30 minutes a day every day – during the month of August.

As it happens, my kids are enrolled this week in a sports-oriented camp.
A typical day looks like this:

8:15-9:00     -    Open Recreation  (Basketball, Soccer, Corn Hole, Twister, etc)
9:00-9:45     -    Rules, Stretching, Name Games & Morning Snack
9:45-11:15     -    Dance/Cheer OR Soccer
11:15 -12:15   -    Lunch
12:15-1:00     -    Lacrosse
1:00-2:00     -     Ice Skating
2:00-3:00     -    Climbing Wall
3:00-3:30     -    Afternoon Snack
3:30-4:30     -    Ultimate Frisbee

I would not have described either of my children as particularly sporty. And yet, they  return home from camp each day raving about how much fun they had scaling the climbing wall and learning to play lacrosse.
That got me thinking – I should make my workout more fun. Here’s how I'm going to do that during the Get Movin’ Challenge:

  • add two classes to my fitness routine (I picked spin and power yoga)
  • take my family hiking twice over the next 5 weeks
  • schedule an evening soccer or volleyball game in the park with other families
  • commit to two car-free (walk- or bike-only days) in August
  • go on a bike date with my husband
  • take another Will Power and Grace class with my friend
  • participate in Viva Streets in Denver on August 11th
  • play tag at a park with my kids
  • swim for 30 minutes during my children's swim lessons

I like this plan. August is going to be really fun.

Three mornings a week, I head to the gym, dial down my insulin, insert ear buds and spend 45 minutes ellipticizing. There's a lot of motivation: I want my clothes to fit, I'll enjoy the post-exercise calm, I want to model healthy habits for my daughters, etc. But really gets me out the door is knowing that I'll be able to dial back my insulin by about 15% for several hours following the workout.

This morning I broke from routine and attended a WillPower & Grace® class taught by my friend Jen. The class was part of the One Billion Rising movement, which is itself pretty fantastic.

I was apprehensive about trying to keep pace with the über-fit regular attendees. But the class was terrific. I worked hard, broke a sweat and stretched long-forgotten muscles.

And! Just before the class started, I saw a woman I recognized. Where did I know her from? Work? The neighborhood? Then I noticed her wrapping the plastic tubing around her insulin pump. And I remembered meeting her last summer at our kids' swim lessons.

We chatted briefly this morning after class, exchanged contact info and just appreciated the ease of connecting with someone who "gets it" without explanation.

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