4 Steps for Healthy Living with Diabetes
Make health your habit
Having diabetes can motivate you to improve your lifestyle and live healthily. Balanced nutrition, daily activity, adequate sleep, stress reduction and a positive attitude are essential. There are many steps you can take to help prevent complications.
What can you do to live healthier?
- Eat healthy! Enjoy a healthy and balanced diet with lean protein sources, complex carbs, fruits and veggies. Besides keeping your blood glucose levels in better range, it will make you feel better to eat less processed foods too. This will help you maintain your weight and improve your cholesterol and blood pressure. Choose a variety of foods high in fiber and low in saturated fat. Try to eat 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day. Blood sugar control will help your energy levels stay constant and keep you alert and fully awake all day.
- Lead an active lifestyle. Go for a brisk walk, ride your bike, join a fitness class, and take the stairs more often. Park farther away and make it a point to include more movement in your day. Body weight or weight training can help build lean muscle which will increase your metabolism and help with fat loss. Physical activity will help regulate your blood glucose to acceptable levels, too. Endorphins are released with exercise which will help you decrease stress, have more energy, sleep better and have a more healthy aging process.
- Find motivation to live a healthier life. Set a goal that pushes you to be your very best and will keep you inspired. Develop a personal mantra, such as, "I'm doing this for me," or "Never go back." This can motivate you to keep working on your health goals no matter how hard it seems. Use it as a daily inspiration. Write it down and embrace its meaning. Repeat it over and over to yourself when feeling unmotivated or tempted. You are the only one who can take care of you, so don’t put it off. Tomorrow may be too late.
- Control stress and enjoy each day. Make sure you get sufficient sleep and allow your body to rest. Your body’s ability to process glucose is affected if you lack sleep. Make time for relaxation and hobbies you enjoy. Social support and friends are essential. It is important to surround yourself with positive people. Find those who have the same goals or at least support you in yours. Humans need to be connected in order to survive. Our successes and accomplishments are NOT successes and accomplishments without having anyone to share it with.
By taking care of yourself every day and adopting habits of health, diabetics can enjoy a very good quality of life. No matter what, keep a positive attitude and never give up on yourself. Use diabetes as motivation to improve your lifestyle so you can enjoy life, feel amazing, and make your dreams a reality.
November is American Diabetes Month. Learn more about living well with diabetes with our providers at the Methodist Center for Diabetes and Nutritional Health, or speak with your Methodist Physicians Clinic primary care provider about receiving help from a Medical Home Health Coach.