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Please check out this informative and excellent article by Karen Weeks of Elderwellness.net which has great tips for managing your overall health if you have diabetes.
Managing diabetes is a full-time job that can interfere with your life in more ways than one. But this common disease doesn’t have to rob you of a healthy, active lifestyle. Adopting healthy habits is essential for managing diabetes, preventing complications, and giving you better control over your life—and you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it! If you’re looking for new ways to improve your health, check out the tips below presented by Stacey Naito.
Get Moving to Lose Weight
Weight loss is a crucial element of any diabetes management plan. Carrying excess weight can increase insulin resistance and make it harder for people with diabetes to control their blood sugar. However, a recent trial reported by Medical News Today found that losing weight may reverse the effects of early type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, aerobic exercise is a very effective weight-loss tool! Also see if you can find ways to keep moving at the office. Many of us are sedentary at work, so see how often you can take the stairs or stand during a meeting.
Fitness trackers are affordable, user-friendly devices that can help you get moving and shed those pounds safely. There are several models to choose from with different features to meet a variety of health and fitness needs. For example, some fitness trackers include heart rate monitors, while others are capable of tracking your sleep stages. Take a look at your options from stores like Dicks Sporting Goods, Academy, or Walmart.
Lastly, don’t hesitate to add some music to the mix! Sometimes, listening to music—or even a podcast—can provide you with the motivation you need to push through your exercise routine. You can invest in a speaker to add some quality to your tunes, as well as a stand that can keep your phone upright if you’re using it to watch something as you work out. Do what works best for you. Find what motivates you and work it into your routine.
Adopting a nutritious diet is another effective way to lose weight and keep diabetes under control. EatingWell recommends developing a low-calorie, nutrient-packed meal plan full of complex carbohydrates, fresh veggies, healthy fats, and lean protein. There are many free apps out there that can help you develop healthy meal plans on any budget. For example, Mealime is great for finding personalized recipes and generating shopping lists. Similarly, Meal Planner Pro offers budget-friendly meal planning for people with a variety of conditions, including diabetes.
Keep Your Blood Pressure Under Control
Many complications can arise if you don’t keep your blood pressure in check. Unfortunately, high blood pressure is exceedingly common in people with diabetes, since this disease causes damage to the arteries. Alarmingly, constant high blood pressure can lead to everything from kidney failure to a heart attack. Keeping your blood pressure down might lessen your chances of peripheral vascular disease and stroke. The good news here is that blood pressure monitors are affordable and easy to use. Take a reading often, and contact your doctor if your numbers are consistently high.
Learn About Your Body
You can also try free and low-cost apps to learn how different foods affect your body. Use diabetes apps and food trackers to log what you eat and when, so you can learn how different foods affect your blood sugar levels. With these apps, you’ll be able to monitor long-term trends and identify the foods and activities that make you feel your best.
Your doctor can be a great resource for diabetes-related information and questions. And if getting to the doctor’s office is a challenge, you can try finding online doctors. Once you’ve found a great fit, you can do video appointments and pick up prescribed medications at your convenience, and most accept a variety of insurance options.
Did you know that stress can worsen your diabetes? Stress increases blood sugar levels, raises blood pressure, increases insulin resistance, impairs sleep, and promotes emotional eating. If you’re struggling with stress, use mindfulness apps like Headspace and Pacifica to calm your mind and learn how to manage anxiety throughout your day. Other apps, like Relax Melodies and Calm, use gentle music and sounds to promote relaxation—these are great if you have trouble sleeping! Most of these apps include free versions and offer affordable subscription options to unlock more features.
Living with diabetes can be tough, to say the least. Fortunately, a variety of low-cost apps and tech devices can make it easier to adopt healthy habits and enjoy the life you want. Use all of the tools at your disposal for guidance and motivation, so you don’t have to face diabetes alone.
Dr. Stacey Naito is passionate about feeling and looking good. Her blog is full of helpful resources on eating well, getting active, and living your best life.