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5 Optimal Health Tips for People with Diabetes

5 Optimal Health Tips for People with Diabetes

Amid the ongoing obesity epidemic in the US, more and more American citizens are faced with a daunting diabetes diagnosis.

The scale of the issue can seem ominous. According to a 2021 study 38.4 million Americans have diabetes. That’s about 12% of the entire population living with the disease. About 20% of them are undiagnosed, and more than a million Americans are told they have diabetes every year.

If left unaddressed, diabetes can have wide-ranging and serious consequences causing health complications including heart disease, chronic kidney failure, nerve damage, and issues with feet, oral health, mental health, and even your vision and hearing.

But it is a manageable condition. There are many diabetes weight loss programs out there, and finding the right one can make diabetes something you can live with fairly easily.

Become an expert on your own diet

Staying on top of what you put in your body, and why, could have a massive impact on your diabetes.

“Making healthier food choices is important to manage your diabetes and to reduce your risk of diabetes complications,” says specialist dietitian Douglas Twenefour, Head of Care at Diabetes UK.

Avoid foods which have a problematic impact on your blood glucose levels. Fruit and vegetables are naturally low in carbs while high in fibre, vitamins, and minerals, making them an excellent choice.

Starchy foods are trickier. Bread, pasta, and rice can all raise your blood glucose, but they’re not all the same. Plan for meals that focus on brown bread and rice, and whole wheat pasta.

Include strength training in your exercise routine

Exercise is especially important for diabetics. Ensure you’re getting about half an hour of aerobic exercise five days a week. This could be walking, cycling, or swimming.

Also, add light strength training sessions to your program each week. These exercises build muscle, which use blood sugar for fuel, making these ideal exercises for diabetics.

Exercise researcher Michael Riddle advises: “Regular sessions of aerobic and resistance exercise promote adaptations in the vasculature, skeletal muscle mass.”

Keep your mind healthy so you can keep your body healthy

Living with diabetes can be distressing, especially if you haven’t found the right management program for it yet.

Diabetes distress can make managing your illness even harder. It might cause you to slip back into unhealthy habits or stop monitoring your blood sugar levels.

Give yourself the best possible chance of staying on track with keeping your body healthy by keeping your mind healthy.

Learn a few simple breathing techniques that can help you deal with stress. Set aside some time each day for short meditations and build a routine around these. Learn what triggers a stress reaction for you, and plan to have some calming aids on hand for those times.

Data monitoring

You should speak regularly with your doctor. They will be able to give you expert advice on how to respond to your medical data.

But keeping an eye on progress can continue at home. Keep a food and exercise journal to see how these influence your mood and well-being.

This will help you and your doctor better understand how your body responds to different things.

Get a good night’s sleep

Healthy sleeping habits and a healthy body are intimately linked. This is especially true for diabetics as lack of rest can impact your blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity, as well as raising levels of cortisol.

Set a sleep schedule and stick to it. Avoid caffeine and alcohol late in the day. Cut down on screen time before you head to bed.

By providing the best possible setting for a good night’s sleep, you give you body a chance to manage itself effectively.

Following these tips will help keep your diabetes under control and set you up for a healthy life.

But this should just be the start. Armed with an effective diabetes plan, you can start thinking about how you’ll use these five health tips to improve longevity and make the future even brighter.

Elizabeth Delphin
Elizabeth Delphin loves a good time! A fun concert, a good dinner out with friends, those weird artsy-fartsy festivals. If she's not at the office or at home, she's likely walking her dog Milo at Runyon Canyon (seriously, sometimes she goes 2-3 times a day).
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