What’s Your Goal?

Mar 16, 2017
Tagged with: What’s Your Goal?

 

Think of a goal you would like to accomplish – is it that you would like to lose 5lbs? (or 50?) Would you like to lower your cholesterol by 30 points? How about complete a 10k?

Working towards something helps you stay on track, and seeing the success of intermediate milestones also motivates you to keep up the good work. Everyone has days when they just don’t want to work out, and there will always be days when turning down dessert seems impossible, but if you see these as road blocks getting in the way of where you want to go, then you’ll have fewer days like this.

So I ask you: what is your goal??

How long do you think it will realistically take to reach that goal?

Write this down.

Can you break the goal down into 3 smaller goals you can work on to get toward your big goal? Now give a timeline for those 3 goals. Giving a time frame will hold you accountable. Write these down too.

For example, if I want to complete a 10k race in 3 months, my shorter term goal would be to be able to push my wheelchair for 2 miles without stopping in 1 month, 4 miles in 2 months, and 6 miles in 3 months.

What key things do you need to change to get started? What is standing in your way? Ralph Waldo Emerson said “challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful.”

Get out that pencil and paper (or open your Notes app) and get started! Make a game plan and achieve that goal.

Manage Blood Sugar

Diabetes is on the rise in our country. In fact, the number of people has tripled between 1980 and 2014. There appears to be a slowing of this, and an important trend to continue. I’m sure you’ve heard all the awful complications associated with diabetes, and that you’re at a greater risk of developing diabetes if you have a physical disability. But do you know why any of this is true?

When we consume food with sugar, which is glucose, the pancreas detects this and releases insulin. Insulin is a hormone that turns glucose into glycogen, which can be stored in our muscles for immediate use when we need energy, or stored in our liver to be used when we need energy that isn’t readily available in the muscles. The excess is then stored in our fat cells as triglycerides.

When you have diabetes, it means that your insulin is no longer working to convert the glucose for storage. It is remaining in the blood, and you have “elevated blood sugar.” Because insulin can’t be utilized as it should, the body will also start producing less. Pre-diabetes means you have above-average blood sugar levels, and 1 in 3 people will go on to develop Type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes is your bodies “warning sign” to change your lifestyle.

So how exactly does exercise help prevent diabetes? When you exercise, your muscles can use glucose for energy without insulin, which decreases the amount of sugar in the blood. This limits the stress on the pancreas to produce insulin and prevents dysfunction. If you have diabetes, exercise helps lower your blood glucose without medication. It’s a natural way to lower blood sugar.

Working out can lower your blood glucose up to 24 hours or more by making your body more sensitive to insulin. Exercise also helps insulin absorb glucose into all your muscle cells. Both of these benefits help decrease the risk of diabetes or help manage diabetes if you have already been diagnosed.

Why are you at a greater risk for developing diabetes if you have a physical limitation? This is because you have fewer muscle contractions while performing daily activities than if you didn’t have that limitation. These simple activities contribute to muscles using the glucose stored in their cells and in the blood. But again, exercise can lower this risk and provide a whole host of other health benefits.

If you don’t follow a regular exercise routine, you should consult your health care provider for guidance.

 

Author: Kristin Mcnealus