A healthy lifestyle can help to control diabetes. For instance, regular exercise and a good diet play a big role in managing the disease.
1. Eat a healthy diet –
This is crucial when you have diabetes because what you eat affects your blood sugar. No foods are strictly off-limits. Focus on eating only as much as your body needs. Get lots of fresh vegetables, some fruits, good quality proteins and whole grains. Choose nonfat dairy and lean meats. Limit foods that are high in sugar and fat. Little to no fast food, junk food, fizzy drinks, sweets and cakes. Remember that carbohydrates turn into sugar, so watch your carb intake. Try to keep it about the same from meal to meal. This is even more important if you take insulin or drugs to control your blood sugars.
2. Exercise regularly –
If you’re not active now, it’s time to start. You don’t have to join a gym and do cross-training. Just walk, ride a bike, or play active video games. Moderate exercise three times a week is the magic key to a healthy life with diabetes. Your goal should be 30 minutes of activity that makes you sweat and breathe a little harder most days of the week. An active lifestyle helps you control your diabetes by bringing down your blood sugar. It also lowers your chances of getting heart disease. Plus, it can help you lose extra pounds and ease stress.
3. Go for regular checkups –
See your doctor at least once in 3 months. Diabetes raises your odds of heart disease. So learn your numbers: cholesterol, blood pressure, and A1c (average blood sugar over 3 months) Get a full eye examination done every year. Visit a foot doctor to check for problems like foot ulcers and nerve damage.
4. Manage your stress –
Stress is bad for all of us, but it’s particularly bad for those of us with diabetes. When you’re stressed, your blood sugar levels go up. And when you’re anxious, you may not manage your diabetes well. You may forget to exercise, eat right, or take your medicines. Manage stress through meditations, deep breathing, yoga, or hobbies that relax you.
5. Stop Drinking & Smoking –
unhealthy habits, such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol, can make diabetes and its complications worse. Diabetes makes you more likely to have health problems like heart disease, eye disease, stroke, kidney disease, blood vessel disease, nerve damage, and foot problems. If you smoke, your chance of getting these problems is even higher. Smoking also can make it harder to exercise. Talk with your doctor about ways to quit.
Consuming alcohol when you have diabetes poses another danger to your health. For instance, if you take insulin or diabetes medicine by mouth, too much alcohol may lower your blood sugar for up to 12 hours after drinking. If you drink and have diabetes, do it in moderation. For a man, moderate drinking is up to two drinks per day; for a woman, one drink.