My tips for getting active when you have Type 2 – by Ken South

I think the very thought of a regular training regime to help reduce weight can be a frightening prospect for most people. Especially if it is part and parcel of a diabetes diagnosis.

I remember how I felt when I was informed that I would have to lose a considerable amount of weight so as to reduce my tablet intake for Type 2 diabetes. So if you are just starting your journey into diabetes territory or you are simply struggling then maybe the following  suggestions may be worth trying.

  1. Identify what time you have available each day or week to spend doing activities.
  2. Decide on an activity or indeed activities you enjoy. There is no point doing something regularly that you don’t enjoy is there?
  3. Most importantly start as you mean to continue. There is no point in running miles one day and then be too tired to even walk the next day. As an example, a ten minute ride every day is better than an hour’s ride once a week.
  4. Finally, each time you feel able simply try and do a little bit more.

Family fun

Ken in heavier days
Ken, after his weight loss

After I had lost three stone I started swimming, cycling and walking. I chose these activities as they could all be done with my family. Also all of the activities would take different times and would provide me with variety. Lastly as I was doing these activities with Claire and my son Charlie it would be fun and enjoyable.

Along with swimming we started having a family walk on Sunday morning along the seafront which is nice and flat. Charlie would run off or sneak his scooter in the car boot and he was away. We would follow at a leisurely pace, and each week saw the walk lengthen. We also started after school and even before school walks along the beach seeing what had been washed up. Charlie loved taking the bits we found into school.

As for the cycling this has been the biggest discovery. I hated cycling or should I say pushing! Charlie and Claire often went for cycle rides whilst I sat at home but I have always secretly loved the idea of cycling and discovering places.

Building up

So I started following the two of them and after I had had enough I would turn around and head for home. There I would wait for Claire and Charlie to return. However over the weeks my stamina improved and eventually we were all heading for home together. The beginning of the summer holidays saw us driving to Wales with our bikes and we went on our first ever mountain bike holiday. Was it hard? Yes it was but it was fun!

Has the approach worked? Well in a word yes! As a person I have now lost more weight and I feel good however we have as a family become far more activity focused. We even play badminton and we are now looking forward to our biking and walking holiday at Christmas. In the New Year we are going to learn all about canoeing so that we can take Charlie on a canoeing holiday on the River Wye which will be hilarious. And that is so important.

Read about Ken’s diagnosis and five stone weight loss

Get more information

Getting active and staying active
Eating well with diabetes
Type 2 diabetes


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