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nutrition and diabetes

Steve     Kovach

An inspiration to others after stroke.

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Get Pumped for exercise with a plan!

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A little planning goes a long way!

You'll hear us recommended planning time and time again; but that's because it's so helpful in making health goals attainable. And that counts the same for exercise! Before you start exercising, begin thinking about how to incorporate routine exercise into your lifestyle. That means:

  • Get the items you need to make exercise safe (see Get Pumped: Safety First)
  • Get the equipment you need, join a gym or map a walking route
  • Look at your calendar and decide upon the time that would be best for exercise, then make it an appointment
  • Talk with your family about your plans for exercise--and see if they might want to join in!

The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends:

  • Cardiovascular (aerobic) exercise: Moderate-intensity cardiovascular exercise for at least 30 minutes per day, at least 5 days per week (at least 150 minutes per week) OR vigorous-intensity cardiovascular exercise for at least 20 minutes per day, at least 3 days per week (at least 75 minutes per week), OR a combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity exercise to achieve a total energy expenditure of at least 500-1000 calories per week.
  • Resistance exercise: Resistance exercises for each of the major muscle groups at least 2-3 days per week.
  • Flexibility exercise: Flexibility exercises for each the major muscle-tendon groups (a total of 60 seconds per exercise) at least 2 days per week to maintain range of motion.

If you don’t have an exercise routine yet, these guidelines can be a bit much to take in! The key is to start slowly, both to prevent injury and create a plan for success. And remember that being active is different from exercising.

Choose activities that you enjoy and can do regularly. Fitting activity into a daily routine can be easy—such as taking a brisk 10 minute walk to and from the parking lot, bus stop, or subway station. Or join an exercise class. Keep it interesting by doing activities you enjoy and trying something different on alternate days. For example swim 3 times a week and take a yoga class on the other days. To reach a 30-minute goal of cardiovascular activity for the day: walk the dog for 10 minutes before and after work and add a 10 minute walk at lunchtime. Make sure to do at least 10 minutes of each activity at a time; shorter bursts of activity will not have the same health benefits. To be ready anytime, keep some comfortable clothes and a pair of walking or running shoes in the car and at the office.

Exercise is essential for cardiovascular health, weight control and diabetes control. Daily lifestyle activities don't provide the same benefits as exercise. What counts as exercise?

Lifestyle activities (as much as possible, every day)

Move and walk around more

Take the stairs instead of the elevator

Park the car further away

Housework, cleaning, gardening, yard work

Walk the field while your kids play sports

Aerobic Exercise

(150 minutes per week, exercise most days)

Bicycling, stair stepper, elliptical

Brisk walking/jogging

Swimming, water aerobics

Aerobic classes or videos

Basketball, soccer, skating, tennis, dancing

Strength & Flexibility (2-3 times per week)


Yoga, pilates

Weight training


Wii Fit

Sedentary Activities (limit)



Watching television

Video games

Follow these tips for increasing aerobic activity:

·         Join a walking group

·         Push children in a stroller

·         Walk the dog

·         Walk on your break during work

·         Join a gym or community center

·         Get involved in a sport

·         Rent exercise videos

Tips for increasing strength:

·         Lift milk jugs or canned foods while watching tv

·         Sit up straight in your chair at your desk

·         Take a fitness class

·         Begin gradually with 8-10 reps of each exercise, then build to 2-3 sets

·         Do leg lifts or lift light weights in front of TV

So pick a start date, start planning and get moving! The benefits are well worth the effort. If you need help getting motivated or need more information about starting an exercise routine, contact your diabetes educator or physician.

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For information, please call our Health Access Line at 314-ANTHONY (268-4669) or 800-554-9550 or visit find a physician online.

Working as trusted partners, the physicians and employees of St. Anthony's Health System will deliver care distinguished by its demonstrated quality and personalized service. We will be visibly engaged in improving the health and well­ being of the communities we serve in South County and beyond. We will stand together, proud to set the standard for independent community health systems.