Opportunities to Exercise.

Who is the Opportunities to Exercise Page aimed at.

If you are overweight and don't exercise you are more at risk of the complications of diabetes.

This page is aimed at diabetics who are physically able to do more exercise but find it hard to make time or perhaps more often lack the desire to exercise.

The main point of the this page is that even one 10 minute walk a day will help. As with diet, a small change can make a difference.

Lifestyle changes are not all dramatic, all I intend this page to do is to give some ideas on how to include exercise into your daily routine.

I am restricting the page to walking, which will be relevant to most people.

BUT the seeking opportunities to exercise idea, applies to any moderately active continuous exercise that could be - dancing, cycling, swimming and so on. So don't be restricted to just these ideas, look out for any opportunity to exercise that you can do.

Look at the Exercise Basic's First.

If you haven't seen the page already. Check the exercise basics page first.

Its best to gradually build up the amount you exercise. If you have doubts as to your fitness get professional advice.

What Targets should you Set?

First find a free time period of 10 minutes. If that's to much for you, start with less and build up to it.

10 minutes is chosen because 10 minutes or more of continuous exercise gives more benefit then two 5 minute walks.

If you are fit enough, your ultimate target should be 30 minutes exercise on most days. That could be 3 x 10 minute walks, 2 x 15 minute walks or 1 x 30 minute walk - what ever works best for you.

Don't be in to a great to hurry to build this up, you are aiming to build up a habit. Not reaching the target ASAP and then drop it, remember try to make it a routine.

Seek Opportunities to Exercise.

So if you have freed up 10 minutes time. Lets consider what most people think of as the chores.

First, its not a chore its an opportunity to exercise:-

  • Walk to get a paper.
  • Walk to get a haircut.
  • Walk to get the fish & chips, but not too often :-)
  • Walk to the GP/Diabetic Nurse.
  • Save some money too, clean the car by hand.
  • Mow the lawn more often. I think thats actually good for the lawn too, as it discourages the coarser grasses and weeds.
You want the paper, haircut, fish and chips or need to mow the lawn so get a health benefit from it too!

  • If its to far to walk to your local shops, drive or catch a bus part way.
  • Only a few minutes from the shops? Go the long way but get your 10 minutes.
  • Don't want to be hot and sweaty when you reach the shops or services. Take the shortest route to them at an easy pace but take a longer 10 minute (or more) faster paced walk back home (or to the car/bus stop).

If you have the time, don't combine these trips. Go once for the haircut and once again for the paper. Remember: look for opportunities to exercise.

Bad Weather Days.

Rain Clouds? Its always easier to find a reason not to walk rather than to walk, thats my personal experience anyway.

So don't be too put off by a few dark clouds, just go prepared. In a ten minute walk after all you are only 5 minutes away from shelter at the very worst.

Fine today but rain due tomorrow? Get an extra 10 minute walk in today just in case.

If that fails have a bad weather plan, even if you don't do the full 30 minutes do something.

  • If its easy to get to, go to your local Mall and take your walk there. Buying something is not compulsory by the way :-)
  • Exercise in the house, walk up and down the stairs for 10 minutes.
  • If its just moderate rain and not icy, get a good brolly and raincoat and go any way.
  • If you can afford it and fancy a try get a cycling or rowing machine.

Leisure Time Opportunities to Exercise.

  • Walk to visit your friends & relatives, if they are in range.
  • Most towns and the countryside have something to offer. Try a visit to the local park or a local footpath.
  • Take a small camera with you too, taking a snap of an unexpected encounter is always a pleasure and encourages you to try again.
  • Explore your local area by foot.
  • Try and get a walking partner, social walking is more interesting.
  • Look-up the Walking the way to Health Initiative site, for your local walking groups in the UK and a lot more besides that too.
  • Find out what's going on locally, the local press or the internet are good sources then walk (all or part way) to get to the event.

Monitor your Steps.

If you want to keep track of how much you have walked try a pedometer, it can be motivating to see just how many steps you have walked.


We (I am a Type 2 diabetic) all have them. Its a case of getting back to where we want to be.

Its not all or nothing. Its a case of routine, making those 10 (or more) minute walks part of your daily ritual. If you lapse but still can do one ten minute walk a day, you are still getting benefit from it.

If you go sometime without exercising you can still get active again, just start gradually.

Good Luck and have a go.