Activity Guilt

Does anyone else feel guilty if they don’t get their 30 minutes of movement/etc a day, every day?

For background, I’ve never been a particularly active person in the sense that I sought out exercise. I did martial arts for ten years, but I haven’t done that since I was 18. I tried going to the gym or the Y here and there over the years, and while I enjoyed the Y, it wasn’t financially feasible long term.

The first 2 things I feel like we hear after diagnosis is “healthy diet” and “increase physical activity.” I nanny and in good weather, I’ll go for a 30-45min walk. Obviously once the winter weather really sets in its going to be harder to do that. I am very lucky that the family I work for will let me use their Peloton bike while the kids nap, I have friends with home gyms willing to let me use their stuff, and the apartment complex I live in has a ‘fitness room.’

Yesterday I got a good walk in, but today I didn’t, hence the guilt. (I want to mention I did 159 minutes of exercise over the weekend, and that 150 a week to start is standard).

I’m curious, do you feel a fear of hypos as a result of exercise, might be a contributing factor?

In the past two years, discovering that my phone had a step counter has helped me get exercise in consistently. Decades ago I had a mechanical pedometer as a form of self-encouragement but that never really worked well for me.

@Tim12 Not that necessarily, no. I’m very new to the game and so am trying to figure out what my “normal” is, as far as numbers, etc. I know that while my body is adjusting to the new numbers I’m going to feel faux lows (my last checks of the night sometimes are low, under 120).

I think it’s more “you aren’t doing what you’re supposed to do!! If you don’t exercise everyday you’re a failure!!”. It’s hard to explain :confused: it’s something I’m going to bring up when I start counseling.

ETA just noticed your comment about the step counter, I do have one on my phone now. I know some movement is better than none,

For me the prompt that got me super regular about exercising was my cardiologist’s recommendations.

You mention counseling, I’m assuming this is some “you’re new to diabetes” classes either as part of a group or individually with a CDE? I’ve had diabetes for 40 years and I’ve got a really good CDE for nutrition and exercise questions that my endo usually doesn’t have the patience for. Certainly not all classes or CDEs are created equal, and if you’ve been googling your condition you might be bored to tears by some of the truly basic classes.

If you’re over 50 and have diabetes you might find your CDE telling you not to do a lot of exercise until a cardiologist puts you through a treadmill stress test. (I think 50 is the magic age for that having recently passed that myself). My advice is to pump the CDE and cardiologist both with exercise questions.

If you’re worried about being on the defensive during your counseling/classes/CDE sessions, do some homework first and go to the session with a list of your own questions and make them work foryou. The resulting session will be a hundred times more productive!

I have not seen a CDE yet, though my drs office has a whole diabetic clinic, I just have to make an appointment. I also have not seen an endo yet either, I think I just need a referral for that.

No, when I say counseling I mean mental health, for my anxiety. I actually found someone who works specifically with folks who have diabetes, both types, I’m hoping our schedules link up to at least do telehealth. My mental health really tanked following diagnosis.

ETA I’m a little ways from fifty :joy: I’m going to be 35 in February

I like walking because it helps my sugars after meals and keeps me in better range.

I have to bribe myself though.
I purposely walk to lunch when I am at work and my favorite places are about a mile.

After dinner I walk to Starbucks. 2 miles. If I don’t walk, I don’t get my coffee. I love coffee, so it’s a good incentive.

I have had times where I convince myself I don’t have the time, but really I do.
And it’s also really good for mental health.

On weekends I hike and break a major sweat doing lots of different things, but I enjoy that so I realize it is different for others


It doesn’t make me feel guilty when I skip exercise. I usually only skip it if I snorkel or if I have stayed low all day and have realized by the end of the day I haven’t gotten on my bike yet and would have to eat something late to do so. Usually I take less insulin with some food earlier so that doesn’t happen.

But the thing that disturbs me about skipping is it’s too easy to do so? And if I skip a day, it’s too easy to skip again? So I try to avoid skipping.

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Guilty no, but uneasy. Even then, the total weekly matters more than the daily.

I found fitness in my mid-20s - I am now 61 - and it transformed my life. Besides having Type 1, I had dropped out of college, was working low-end jobs, and was suffering from moodiness and insomnia. Fitness changed all that or at least accompanied my decision to change. In a very short amount of time, I adopted a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, decided to go back to school and finish, and was soon excited and sleeping well. Eventually, I was certified as a personal trainer, occasionally competing in running and rowing events. Since then, staying fit has been part of my life, with the only periods I haven’t worked out due to surgery or injury, or just post-college when I didn’t have a gym.

Now that I work exclusively from home - before the pandemic, I worked hybrid, 3 days in, 2 days out - being active has become more of a necessity, and something I watch carefully. A daily walk in our courtyard helps with insulin uptake, as does staying active while working, and an evening jaunt out to the gym is usual, although I will skip it if I can’t raise my blood sugar to an adequate level, or if I think I need a recovery day.

A result of my fitness focus means that I now use my smartwatch and Google Fit for tracking health, i.e., glucose, weight, BP, activity, fitness, and sleep. The watch for me has been an enjoyable adjunct to my tracking. Only recently, I realized that my assumed caloric burn per day was lower than what it had been, but I’ve been eating like I was during my more active periods. It’s been helpful


Being into fitness is something I’m going to have to learn, as I’ve never been into being super active. It feels daunting.

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Honest, neither was I when I was young. I discovered it almost by accident. I had horrible insomnia, and at some point, 4 AM, nothing was working, decided to go for a run around my local grammar school. Somehow it all clicked. I’m not sure if the time was ripe - my life was at a low point - but the effects were profound, and with running i then added biking, and then lifting, and then…

In many cases, it might conflict with family and friends, if their habits are unhealthy or inactive. Not terrible, but it can feel like an uphill battle, but as mentioned, there are so many benefits, the more you know, the easier it is to stay motivated. Also, you need to enjoy yourself, and you need to find your abilities.

I have more natural ability with endurance and aerobic capacity, plus I’m tall, with long arms and legs, hence my love of rowing, or rather, it’s a sport that loves me. I would think you should think about your natural talents, thinking back to what you were good at young, and then use as many as possible to find your activities and sports. It’s senseless to force yourself into long aerobic activities if you are a sprinter. Better to take your sprint ability and play racket sports or martial arts. Weightlifting can be good for anybody, and if you are naturally strong, even better. Whatever, find things that motivate you, and use your native abilities.


I’ve been trying to walk 30-45min a day or every other day during the week, and walk for an hour on the weekends/days off. I’m definitely more of a “bump on a log,” I don’t like to be sweaty and uncomfortable. Again, I know at this point I have to be more active as it will only help me, I just don’t enjoy it.

Some people are active for the sake of being active and others enjoy what being active allows them to see. If you’ve got hiking trails around, they can be a destination. A pool can be a great place to de-stress. A bike ride can be a good way to get somewhere that is too far to easily walk to, but doesn’t have to involve a car.
Humans naturally have the capacity to be active but we’ve learned to be lazy (referring primarily to myself here). Exercise shouldn’t have to feel like a chore.


There are many types of fitness, and many types of motivation. To be honest, I’m not the most social, and can enjoy solitary activities. I am ambitious, and like setting goals. On some level, I like discomfort, or at least have a high tolerance for it. But back to you. Are you more social? If so, think about group activities, clubs, like volleyball.

Whatever it is, find what motivates you, what you can enjoy, and what you can do well with. That is essential to long term fitness.

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Welcome, you are a Nanny , play with the children. Take them for a walk, play at a playground,etc. use the stairs in your building when you are alone.there are also many walking and exercise on You tube. Select something you like start slow, daily increase your steps. A mile is about 15 minutes. I do mine in my den in the winter only if it is stormy out. Otherwise I walk outside,I feel a bit of fresh air is great for the spirit. You are also walking when you don’t think about it😎. You will figure it out. Nancy50

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Oh I’m definitely lazy!! I was a lot more active in high school when I did martial arts, which isn’t super aerobic but I enjoyed doing it.

It’s hard not to consider exercise a chore, honestly. I prefer to do things that don’t seem like exercise (I did a hip hop aerobics class at the Y a few years ago that was fun), but it’s hard to find time now. I always enjoyed bike riding, the people I nanny have a peloton bike I can use when the kids are snoozing, and I actually added the app on my TV.

You are best off finding something you enjoy. But say you like being out in the hills walking…but can’t fit that easily into your schedule being a nanny. Maybe a hiking walk on the weekends? But because you are not used to it you won’t necessarily get that far. So think of even some shorter walks during the week will help you build up endurance to walk farther on the weekends. but don’t take off into the hills by yourself lol when you aren’t use to hiking. Find a buddy, the Nextdoor ap works well or join a group.

Sometimes it’s just what you are willing to do. I am willing to ride my exercise bike, it’s not something I go, oh I can’t wait to do so. But I play music with a fast tempo and I play games on my phone. That at least helps me enjoy the time I’m on it.

If you do something you don’t like, I’m not sure you will stick with it, But walking is an easy thing to fit in. So it could help to change where you walk? Like shopping? Walk around the shopping center. Like to see what’s going on around the neighborhood (as long as you are in a safe area,) this is Christmas light time of year and it’s fun to walk around and check them out.

But the other thing is the kids can go on walks with you, it’d be a good habit to teach them and maybe help wear them out of some of their energy. Maybe start some backyard game playing. Or maybe you prefer a break from the kids!

But try to find something you don’t mind or even better, you like!


Music is soooo important to me. I’ve been making playlists for a long time, depending on the workout I wanted, or the activity. I also have video playlists, where the tempo, or the mood, works to keep me on time and motivated. Sometimes it is just watching the event, and then engaging along with competitors, although I imagine for others, the intensity might not be what matters, but I have found both music and video essential for keeping me motivated. It’s almost an end in itself, if I don’t work out I don’t get to listen to the intense music that I love since it drives my spouse crazy. Headphones and workouts are my only opportunity to listen to some things.