A diabetic lifestyle can be difficult to maintain. Sometimes you just want to be able to eat whatever you want and not have to worry. But, not maintaining your diabetes can lead to additional and significant health problems later in life. Starting a healthy maintenance plan upon diagnosis is ideal and it isn’t as hard as you might think.
Activity is important as a diabetic. It helps your body’s metabolism increase so that you are able to maintain or reach a healthy weight. It also helps keep your heart healthy. Diabetes, especially when unmanaged or poorly managed, can have a negative impact on your heart.
Being active is as simple as walking for 30-minutes a day. It doesn’t have to be a brisk or fast walk, just walk at a comfortable pace. Swimming is a wonderful method of exercise that helps you work those stubborn areas of the body. Maintaining a healthy weight as a diabetic is important. Other methods of exercise can be as simple as walking on a treadmill, taking a bike ride and doing a few stretches during commercials while watching television.
Regular A1C Tests and Proper Monitoring
Your A1C number is one of the most important things to keep an eye on. A number above 7.0 means that you have some work to do. Many that are diagnosed with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes initially have an A1C above 7.0. Your doctor will discuss options for medication with you as well as ways to improve your lifestyle to help bring that number down. Your A1C should be checked every three months. Your doctor will likely have you visit at least that often, but there may be more appointments required if your blood glucose levels are higher than they should be with your daily finger sticks.
Lowering your A1C can be done with medicine, but it is also achievable with a healthy diet and exercise. When your A1C reaches 6.4, you are in pre-diabetes stage. This means that you have kept a good handle on your health and have listened to your doctor. An A1C between 5.7 and 6.4 is really good. If you can get down to 5.6 and have Type 2 diabetes, your doctor may allow you to start weaning yourself off of your medication as 5.6 and under typically doesn’t render someone diabetic. You’ll have to maintain your lifestyle to keep these numbers intact.
Dietary changes are a must. Proper diabetes maintenance requires a healthy, balanced diet that is rich in protein and low in carbohydrates and sugar. If you don’t read labels on products, now is the time to start. You may not realize how unhealthy some of your previous choices may have been. Ask your doctor about the right amount of carbohydrates for your specific needs you should have per meal. Calculate your carbs to be that number or less by reading labels and paying attention to portion size.
Protein is important. It can be hard to get enough protein every day if you have a budget and meat is expensive in your area. Health365 provides protein supplements online that may help you reach your daily protein goal. A snack that is high in protein and low in carbs before bed may help you maintain a more stable blood glucose reading overnight.
When it comes to fruit, you have to be careful. Sure, it’s good for you but for diabetics, it can be the complete opposite. Portion size is most important when eating fruit since it does contain natural sugar. While natural sugar is better than refined, it can still affect your blood glucose readings and you may see more spikes. It is ideal to consult a diabetic nutritionist to help you determine a good diet and proper fruit portion sizes for each fruit that you enjoy eating.
Maintaining a diabetic lifestyle can seem overwhelming at first. It can be a shock, and for some, it is stressful. With a few changes to your diet, exercise regimen and overall attitude it is easier. Once you are into a routine, the changes you’ve made become normal behavior.