Understanding how to manage diabetes is key to reaching your goals. Let’s start first by saying that managing it IS POSSIBLE – but there are some essential lifestyle changes that you will need to make in order to get there. Here are 5 important things to consider in order to live a healthier lifestyle with diabetes.
- Eating healthy. When you have diabetes, a healthy diet is critical. What you eat affects your blood sugar and some foods will be off-limits. Stay focused on eating what your body needs. Include plenty of vegetables, fruits and whole grains into your diet. Choose non-fat dairy and lean meat. Make sure you limit foods that are typically high in sugar or fat. Keep in mind that carbohydrates turn into sugar, so watch your carbohydrate intake as well.
- Stay active. Even if you’re not active now, it’s important to keep your body moving. You don’t have to become a fitness junky, just take a walk, ride a bike or play some active video games. Make your goal to get about 30 minutes of sweat-inducing activity. The active lifestyle can help lowers your blood sugar levels and lower your risk of heart disease. It can help take off those extra pounds and ease stress.
- Manage your stress. The more stressed you are, the higher your blood sugar will get. Learn the best way to get your body to relax and find what helps you relieve stress. It might be exercise, eating right, massages, whatever works best for you.
- Stop smoking. Smoking and diabetes are not a good combination. Diabetes puts you at risk for a number of additional health problems, including heart disease, strokes, nerve damage, kidney disease, eye disease, and many other. Smoking can increase your chances. Talk to a professional about finding a program that will help you quit.
- Limit your alcohol intake. It is much easier to control your blood sugar levels if you don’t drink too much beer, wine or liquor. Alcohol can either make your blood sugar go too high or too low, which can both be dangerous. Keep an eye on your blood sugar before you start drinking and take the necessary steps to avoid low blood sugars.