Diabetes: Managing Your Quality of Life
If you have diabetes, you’ve heard over and over “diet, exercise, medication.” But you’re not alone! As most people age, eating well, staying active, and sticking to a medication plan become critical parts of daily life. So whether you have diabetes or not, diet, exercise, and medication remain the mantra for health living.
Diet: One of the best ways to make healthy eating choices is to eat foods with the least number of ingredients. While granola bars and protein bars can be great choices, eating a bowl of oatmeal is the best way to get the benefits of oatmeal without all the added sugar and fat. The best snacks come in their own packaging – oranges, bananas, nuts, and apples are easy to keep handy and provide you with the kinds of nutrients that pre-made snacks generally don’t have. If you have diabetes, talk to your doctor about the best kind of snacks you can keep on hand to ensure your blood sugar levels remain level.
Exercise: Some people love physical fitness – but not everyone. Routine exercise, however, will keep you living longer and feeling better. You don’t have to run five miles or swim 1,000 meters when you take the leap and get your body moving; take a walk around the block, go for a bike ride, or shoot a few hoops at the local court. Find some comfortable gym clothes and get going! Keep in mind, you won’t really feel great about exercise until after you’re done. After a week, you will start to feel the difference in your mood and outlook. You will feel less irritable and you will have longer, deeper sleep. After about a month, you will start to see the difference in your weight, blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.
Medication: For diabetics, medicine is key to your health. Take you medication at the same time everyday to be most effective. Hydration is also critical in ensuring your medications are effective; if your body is dehydrated, your medication won’t be as effective. If you have diabetes, you have the additional responsibility of monitoring blood sugar levels several times per day. Make a back- up plan for the occasional missed medication; you can avoid the subsequent health crisis if you keep extra medications with you.