TV exercise guru, Mr Motivator, on how to start a fitness regime

Mr Motivator on how to start a fitness regime for people with type 1 diabetes

For people with type 1 diabetes, exercising when dealing with the stresses and challenges of the condition can be daunting.

But while exercise is important for everyone, it can also help make blood glucose management easier. That is because exercise can increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin, especially for those with type 1 diabetes experiencing insulin resistance.

We know exercise for people with type 1 diabetes takes a bit more planning, so Derrick Evans, also known as TV exercise guru, Mr Motivator, has the following simple advice we hope will help you to get going:

“The Internet is a treasure trove of useful information about exercise – and JDRF’s website can also help you before you get started.

“It is important to choose your activity well – doing something that makes you feel good and brings you loads of fun is the main ingredient, which will ensure that you want to do it over and over again.

“One of the best ways to get started is to have a goal in mind. Focus on something simple initially, that offers a variety of movement, such as swimming or walking.

“Fear of the unknown is often what holds us back. But if you want to make a change in your life, then set your goal and go for it!

“Start slowly, with small steps and then increase your effort level as soon as you find that you need more of a challenge.

“Be patient and take time to learn about the capabilities of your body. It is a good idea if you have not been active in a while that you talk to your doctor before starting any fitness programme.

“Keeping a diary of your habits, what you eat and how you are feeling. This is a good way to help you know and understand more about yourself and your capabilities.

“Take note – your body has at least 650 muscles and with every step you take, 250 muscles come into play. That is why walking is so good for you.

“It has been well documented that exercise can be beneficial in helping to cope with your mental state of mind; we all want to improve the quality of our life, so make that move and watch the results roll in.

“Remember – a problem shared is a problem halved and a success doubled. If you can find a buddy to travel with they will help you when you are feeling down and you can return the favour.

“There will be times when you just do not feel like doing anything. At moments like that, take a rest. There is no point in beating yourself up. If you are having a good week, don’t forget to reward yourself with that special treat.

“And finally, look after yourself. Remember you are the most important person in your world, so treat yourself accordingly and take care at all times.

“Seek advice if you don’t know or understand why you are feeling a particular way. Focus on getting fitter and not so much about weight loss – that will come. Every day do something physical and you will not regret it.”

JDRF Connect Immune Research

Discover our research

Browse our world-class research projects that will transform the lives of people with type 1 diabetes - improving treatments until we find the cure

Our research