Having a hard time keeping your diabetes under control? These 6 tips for managing diabetes will help!
If you’ve recently been diagnosed with diabetes, you’re not alone. Diabetes is on the rise in America, and there are now more than 29 million Americans with diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Learning to live with diabetes isn’t just a matter of taking insulin. Managing diabetes requires an ongoing commitment to a healthy lifestyle, but it doesn’t have to be difficult. If you are willing to adjust some of your habits, with just a few changes to your lifestyle you can get your diabetes under control. We’ve got some simple tips for managing diabetes that will help you get back to enjoying your life.
When you exercise, the muscle contractions and aerobic activity help push glucose out of your blood and into your cells. Exercising regularly provides a whole range of health benefits – it helps control your weight, lowers your blood pressure, improves your mood, raises energy levels, and can even reduce “bad” cholesterol levels. Strenuous exercise will give you the most benefits, but even moderate exercise can be beneficial. Set a goal of exercising a little bit every day. You’ll get more benefit from adding a brisk 20-minute walk to your daily activities than performing a longer workout every couple of days.
Check your blood sugar regularly
It is important to test your blood sugar levels regularly throughout the day. Check your blood glucose before and after eating and exercising, and keep a log of the results. Tracking the changes in your glucose levels will help you adjust your eating and activity patterns to get a better handle on your diabetes.
Choose a balanced, healthy diet
Learning how to eat right – choosing the right foods and the right portion sizes – is one of the keys to successfully managing diabetes. Choose foods that have a low glycemic index, reduce carbs and increase your intake of whole grains and fiber. Substituting fruits and vegetables for sugary snacks and desserts, and choosing small portions can help lower your weight in addition to controlling your diabetes. Look for recipes that draw exclusively from the list of foods for diabetics to see the best results.
Eat small, frequent meals
One of the keys to managing diabetes is getting away from the idea of “3 square meals” a day. Eating large meals can overwhelm your system and upset your glucose levels. Instead, switch to eating small meals frequently throughout the day. Keep cut up veggies and fruits on hand for fast healthy snacks and pick-me-ups – fresh vegetables may be the best food for diabetes control because they supply fiber, are loaded with nutrients, and satisfy your desire for something sweet and crunchy while keeping glucose levels steady.
Moderate your weight
If you are overweight, losing even a few pounds can improve your blood glucose levels and help you manage your diabetes better. Carrying extra weight, especially in your abdomen or belly, reduces your cells’ ability to respond to insulin. Losing weight and exercising regularly can actually lower your blood glucose levels. Shedding weight can also reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and other dangerous health conditions.
Take time to de-stress
Stress can raise your blood sugar and make glucose levels harder to control. Try to incorporate relaxation strategies into your daily routine. Take a tai chi class, practice meditation, or just take a few minutes to stop and listen to some soothing music.
Over time, these strategies for managing diabetes can dramatically lower your blood sugar and improve the way you feel and function. Once you adjust to the changes in your lifestyle, you will find yourself enjoying a fitter, healthier life and brighter future!