Lifestyle for Diabetic Health
There is no known cure for diabetes, but there are things you can do besides Medications and Diet to help you live as close to a normal healthy life as possible. These include exercise and other strategies.
There are lots of resources to help you with this. The following suggestions are from an article on the WebMD Site.
There are lots of resources to help you with this. The following suggestions are from an article on the WebMD Site. We have added a few comments that may be appropriate for Belize.
- Make a list of fun activities. This may include sports, dancing, yoga, walking, swimming, cycling, or anything else that you might actually enjoy. It should also be something that increases your heart rate.
- Get your doctor’s OK, so you’ll know you’re ready for it. You might also need to change your eating plan, and your medications.
- Check your blood sugar, as your doctor recommends. The exercise is good, but you may need to adjust your eating or medication.
- Carry carbs. It’s a good idea to carry a small carbohydrate snack, like fruit or a fruit drink, in case your blood sugar level gets low.
- Ease into it. If you are not very active now, start with 10 minutes of exercise at a time. Gradually work up to 30 minutes a day.
- Strength train at least twice a week. Lifting weights, or using resistance bands, or something like push-ups, lunges, or squats, will use your own weight to improve blood sugar control.
- Make it a habit. Try to exercise, eat, and take your medications at the same time each day to prevent low blood sugar, also called hypoglycemia.
- Go public. Work out with someone who knows you have diabetes, and knows what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. And it’s more fun. Also, it’s a good idea to wear a medical identification tag, or carry a card that says you have diabetes, just in case.
- Be good to your feet. Wear athletic shoes that are appropriate to your type of exercise. Check and clean your feet daily, and let your doctor know if you notice any new foot problems.
- Hydrate. Drink water before, during, and after exercise, especially if it’s one of our hot tropical days.
- Stop if something suddenly hurts. It’s normal if your muscles are a little sore, but not if you have sudden pain. Don’t do too much, too soon.
Benefits of exercise
Exercise helps your body use insulin, which controls your blood sugar. It burns extra fat, strengthens your muscles and bones, and lowers your blood pressure. For a larger list of benefits, see the WebMD article.
Other Lifestyle Choices
Lifestyle choices that help you manage your diabetes include:
- Food — healthy eating of a carbohydrate-controlled, well-balanced diet. Especially avoid high-sugar beverages.
- Exercise — as outlined on this page.
- Medication — insulin and other medications.
- Illness — plan ahead, take your meds, and stick to your diet.
- Alcohol — can aggravate your diabetes. Talk it over with your doctor.
- Menstruation and menopause — may affect blood sugar. Talk to your doctor.
- Stress — get help for dealing with stress. It can also affect your blood sugar.
For more details, see this article.