Whether it’s type 1 or 2, being diagnosed with diabetes can mean the beginning of big life changes. Certain habits and behaviors you once engaged in without a second thought may now run the risk of complicating your condition. Fortunately, while diabetes certainly isn’t a threat to take lightly, it can often be managed – particularly when people are open to change. So, whether you’ve just received your diagnosis or have been living with diabetes for a long time, the following pointers are likely to prove useful.
Exercise on a Regular Basis
Regular exercise can be a boon to both physical and mental health. Furthermore, physical fitness can prove particularly beneficial to diabetics. Among other advantages, exercise stands to improve blood glucose control in people with type 2 diabetes. In addition, if you’re insulin resistant, working out can help make your insulin more effective. Engaging in consistent physical activity can also prove conducive to control your blood sugar levels, as well as lowering your risk of heart disease and nerve damage.
So, if you don’t currently have a regular fitness regimen, now would be the time to rectify that. When many people hear the word “exercise,” they assume it means power-lifting at the gym and working out to the point of complete exhaustion. However, this only describes one type of exercise, and one needn’t necessarily engage in strenuous workouts in order to stay in shape. For many of us, half an hour of moderate physical activity per day is enough to meet our fitness goals.
When it comes to workout routines for diabetics, your options are far from limited. Walking, cycling and aerobic dance are just a few forms of light exercise that will leave you feeling invigorated and help keep your condition in check.
Maintain a Healthy Diet
Although everyone should work to maintain healthy eating habits, doing so is vitally important for people who suffer from diabetes. For starters, your diet should be rich in fruits and vegetables and low in saturated fats, trans fats, sodium and cholesterol. Fiber-rich foods and heart-healthy fish – like salmon, sardines, tuna and mackerel – are also welcome inclusions in a diabetic diet.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that there’s no “one size fits all” approach to diabetic dieting – or dieting in general, for that matter. So, in order to determine what type of diet is perfectly suited to your condition, you’ll need to consult with your physician.
Regularly Check Your Feet
People suffering from diabetes need to be extra-mindful of their feet. Even the smallest sore, blister or bug bite stands to result in a serious infection or ulcer – which could facilitate the need for amputation. With this in mind, make a point of meticulously checking your feet for signs of trouble on a daily basis. Additionally, if you have a spouse, partner or caregiver, consider enlisting their aid in this endeavor. After all, it never hurts to have a second set of eyes.
When checking your feet, keep a careful eye out for corns, calluses, athlete’s foot, cracked skin, irritated skin, blisters, ingrown toenails, rashes, cuts, sores and other signs of foot trouble. Should you come across anything out of the ordinary, contact your doctor immediately. You’ll also need to have your feet professionally examined at least once a year, take meticulous care of your feet and toenails and invest in diabetic-friendly footwear.
Regularly Test Your Glucose
It is imperative for people with type 2 diabetes to test their glucose on a daily basis. Although all type 2 diabetics need to check their glucose at least once a day, some may need to do so upwards of seven times per day. Fortunately, this is a relatively easy task to perform and can be carried out from the comfort of home. If you’re unclear on how to test your glucose, don’t hesitate to reach out to your doctor.
Living with diabetes can place restrictions on certain learned behaviors. While this condition is often highly manageable, you need to be open to change in order to bring your diabetes under control. Needless to say, some diabetes sufferers are more amenable to various life changes than others. Although change is a big part of managing diabetes, keeping this condition in check doesn’t necessarily entail turning your entire world upside down. In the interest of making life with diabetes a little less stressful, put the measures discussed above to good use.