Association of Diabetes Care & Education Specialists

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Exercising in the Winter

Dec 04, 2012

Do you struggle to find solutions for your patients to get exercise in the winter months? When I ask my diabetes patients who enjoy walking outdoors during the year what their plan is for the winter, many don’t have a plan. They just usually cut back on their walking or stop walking all together after our Kentucky temperatures go below 40 degrees. They may not even realize that the reason their blood sugars are starting to creep up or they are having a harder time dealing with holiday stress is because they are not taking their usual stress relieving stroll.

Of course, you can always get a treadmill or join a gym to walk inside, but most of my patients can’t afford those luxuries. We do have a few low cost church gym programs in our area that have walking tracks and treadmills and some decide to do that during the winter and on rainy days.

Several of my patients have found workout videos to be the best low cost option and I wanted to make sure you knew about a great resource to view the videos. It’s called Collage Video. I’m not at all affiliated with them, just a long-time fan. My favorite part of their site is where you can view a clip from the video to see the instructor’s teaching style and the intensity of the video. They also diagram the video into minutes of warm up, aerobics, toning, stretching, etc. so you have an idea of the format.

For my patients who love to walk, my first recommendation is the Leslie Sansone series. She specializes in walking videos. We would actually do 7-10 minutes of one of her videos during our comprehensive diabetes classes as a break. Patients loved it because they could actually follow the simple moves of marching in place, small kicks, stepping side to side, etc. It is very simple and can be done in a conference room or classroom setup without having to move all the furniture.

Collage Video also has a section called “Specialty Videos,” where you can find seated exercise videos or videos created for people with arthritis. Just call their number and you can order catalogs to give out to your patients if you like.
The biggest thing is to encourage your patients to have a backup plan from their usual outdoor workout. Hope this resource helps!


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  1. Jan 13, 2013

    This is great info. Thanks for posting!!
  2. Jan 07, 2013

    Hi Linda, What type of product are you looking for covering gestational and diabetes in pregnancy? A handout for patients, diabetes educators, or videos, etc?? There are several resources out there.
  3. Dec 10, 2012

    Working in the hospital setting for the last 5 years, I don't often have the opportunity to focus on exercise due to the brief time I have with patients. However, I reviewed a few of the video clips and liked them. Actually, my mother has diabetes and is a "senior." I think I am going to purchase Margret Richards exercise video and the Tai Chi for Seniors video for her for Christmas (stocking stuffers). I love to have her try new things out for me before I recommend them. What a great idea--doing exercise during diabetes classes! Thanks, Amy, for sharing these resources and ideas!
  4. Dec 07, 2012

    I am attempting to update my DSMES Curriculum. I cannot find a product for purchase or for use with permission, that covers gestational diabetes or having diabetes and getting pregnant. What do you other CDEs use?
  5. Dec 05, 2012

    Great ideas, Amy. I love that website and think the walking videos and other options are very helpful for people during the challenging weather times. I suggest them often. Some people just prefer to stay inside. The snow flakes have been coming down in Syracuse today so this is just in time!
  6. Dec 05, 2012

    Great Ideas.

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