New and ImprovedI'm feeling better now and a lot less stressed. I've even seen a few pounds drop off of the scale. And all of my efforts seem to be making a big difference on my diabetes. I just had some blood work done and my A1c has dropped from 8.9 to 7.8 percent. This was good enough for my doctor to let me keep using pills instead of taking insulin shots.
Mariana and I have been steadily increasing our walking. Keeping the kids for each other helps, but I wish we could walk together. We'd also like to do something more exciting, like taking a half-day hiking trip or just seeing something new.
I used the Internet to find hiking and cycling trails near us. I found the city parks and recreation page and plugged in "hike and bike trails." I got a list and a map. I even found trails where the kids can roller skate while we walk and talk.
But Mariana and I also have a problem. Her husband is working the late shift now and it's sometimes tougher for her to walk regularly. The kids just take so much of her time. I understand. I remember how hard it was to find 15 minutes in a day when my kids were young. Maybe Mariana would enjoy being around young women her age with kids at home.
Meanwhile, I'm thinking about branching out to find more support buddies — perhaps some women closer to my age and life situation. I'd also like to meet some nice men who enjoy physical activity.
Like Fran, you may be looking for new opportunities to keep you challenged and enlarge your circle of support. Create a "search party" to discover facilities and opportunities in your city. You'll be surprised at what you find. After you discover what your city parks and recreation department have to offer, try several of the resources below to help find more resources in your area.
Add variety to your activity by alternating among brisk walking, riding a stationary bike or engaging in low-impact aerobic activity such as swimming at the local YMCA. Dance at home to your favorite music or with an exercise video. Activities such as gardening, raking and pushing a lawn mower also count.
If you haven't tried using a step counter or pedometer, you may want to experiment with one. It's a great way to keep track of the number of steps you're walking every day. It's also fun to keep a record and to increase the number of steps every week. The whole family will enjoy it, and it makes a great gift any time.
Check Your Choices: Zap Your Stress
Stress can sneak up on us if we don't prioritize tasks and take time each day to do something fun. Keep a "fun" journal and record the minutes in your week that you had fun. All work and no play can make you very cranky.
How about your snacking habits? Are you planning ahead and making good choices about the fuel you're putting into your body? Go back to Week 4 and review the nutritious foods that can be substituted for foods high in saturated fat and
You're ready to consider some new short-term goals if you're accumulating at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity on most days of the week. Think about something you've always wanted to try (maybe not skydiving yet) and go for it. You can do it, just like you've reached your current activity goals — one day at a time.
Finding Community Resources
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