How can I start exercising very slowly?

I really need to start exercising but haven't done any in years. My Type 1 has been badly controlled for 20-odd years and I am finding it very difficult to even walk fast at the moment. I'm experimenting with my GP whether this is caused by my statin, but in the meantime what can I do to make a gentle start on exercise in general. I do walk the dog every afternoon for about 30 mins but this is a gentle stroll around the park.

I am only 43 but feel like an old woman!!!

Donna (T1 25years, pumping 8 years, last Hba1c 11)

Forgot to say, I'm in the UK and I'm not overweight.

I like to walk my dog too however it's sort of hard to get into a "flow" situation with her as she runs and stops to sniff and runs and stops to sniff. I can run her, as she's only 10 lbs. but my knees are getting to old to slam on the brakes every time "we" smell something interesting?

A few years ago, I started Tae Kwon Do classes, felt old and out of shape, but could feel myself feeling better quickly and I added walks around the neighborhood to sort of keep my juices flowing between classes. I've kept at it since maybe 2005 or 6. It has been a very slow process of incremental improvements. Unfortunately, if the dog is used to it, you'd probably have to keep that but maybe add in some "Dee time" and take yourself for a 30 minute walk without her?

Statins are known to cause muscle problems and other side effects and unfortunately most of the medical establishment does not regularly diagnose these effects. Whether you are having trouble or not is an open question. I found that I had immediate relief when I stopped statins (within 2 weeks). Stopping statins for two weeks would hardly kill you immediately and would perhaps rule out statins as a cause.

In either case, there are a bunch of exercises you can do just to start. And although you have may have some difficulty walking, you can walk and walking is a great exercise. You may find an elliptical trainer also works well since you involve your arms and they can steady you. You can try one out at a store or gym. Rowers are also great.

In the end, as AcidRock suggests, it is incremental progression that matters. It may be slow progress, but over time it all adds up and makes a huge difference.

And I would encourage you to work towards better control. It may well be that part of your difficulty walking is neuropathy and getting better control of your blood sugars is important to managing neuropathy.

One other thing that may help would be to go to a good running store (I realize you aren't talking about running!) and get some assistance getting fitted for shoes? There are different shoes for different feet, gaits, etc. The place I went back when I started walking put me in the right shoes for 275 lb AcidRock to walk in and made at least that part of it more comfortable. A few years later, when things had progressed to where I said "hmmm, maybe I'm up to a run..." I did 4x miles on the treadmill in the same shoes and was all "ooo rah" but then couldn't walk for two days b/c of shin splints. They fixed me up w/ some new shoes and I was off, literally, to the races?

By "good" store, I mean a place with treadmills you can walk on and try different shoes out at the pace you'd like to walk at (no sniffing!). There's usually different categories of shoes (stability/ neutral, I go for neutral as I seem to have high arches?) so they'll watch me walk/ jog a bit around the store, say "neutral" and then get 5-6 pairs, I try them on then try one shoe from each pair on at the same time to find the best one. It's a bit of a production but I have fun with it and the sales people are usually helpful too.

Sometimes you may find yourself tempted to pay a bit more for a shoe that's more comfortable but it can be worth it at these places. Another feature that the stores in the US don't always advertise but will tell you about when you are there is that you can buy them, try them and return them if they're not quite right.

Maybe you shouldn't try to walk fast right now. How much do you weigh?
Your A1c makes me think you need to try researching how much up a small carb of each kind raises your glucose so you can determine just how many carbs can really be handled by your insulin. The only way is to use 7 gram amounts and slowly figure it out.
And maybe go back to constructing a chart of what you can eat that your pump can handle so it keeps you extremely in a stable mode. Maybe you're always at 150? Gently lower that to 120, then to 110, and then increase your walks. You'll feel like walking when your blood glucose is closer to normal! Energy!

I’d add here that I’m not suggesting Dee go quickly, by “flow”, I’m suggesting maybe smoothly and purposefully. There’s a psychology book called “Flow” that explains this in more detail. The whole she suggestion may seem ridiculous but, at least in my case was sort of throwing down the gauntlet at myself. Plus, if you are walking and can get what I’d expect to be maybe a 25-50% improvement in “smoothness” or “comfort”, it’s well worth 45 minutes, even if you feel a bit silly?

oops, I meant "shoe suggestion"? A lot of people think "running store" = running but the good stores are equipped for the "gait analysis" and "foot analysis" parts of the equation the way a lot of "sporting goods" stores aren't I looked at the post again and figured "she suggestion" might be particularly confusing?

Water aerobics is fun and will get you moving without straining your muscles. I also started slowly with a chair pilates class. It was great because I found out right away which muscles needed the most work. Both of these worked, though, because there are "mature" people in the classes who have similar needs, AND they're fun people. It makes me want to keep going back. I think lots of women feel old when they're in their 40's, then after the hormone wars are over they rebound and feel lots better. It's not necessarily all downhill. You can do it!