Is It Time to Revamp Your Diabetes Management?
Something is refreshing about a new calendar year, a chance to let go of the old and embrace the new. The new year is a natural period to reevaluate how you manage your diabetes and consider setting new health goals.
As a media sports photographer, I watch sports teams change their playbooks from season to season, and your diabetes management is no different. Yes, these tips might sound repetitive, but having a refresher, reviewing your previous year's game tape (progress), and making adjustments where needed is good. Here are some ways to revamp your diabetes management in the new year.
Embrace diabetes management technology
Technology has come a long way. You can now monitor your blood sugar levels consistently throughout the day with continuous glucose monitors (CGMs). The ongoing data that a CGM provides enables you to make more informed decisions about how food, exercise, and medication impact your blood sugars, ultimately enabling you to control your diabetes better.
In addition to CGMs, the number of diabetes management apps available today is staggering. Many mobile apps can track blood sugar levels, log meals, calculate insulin doses, and offer personalized coaching to people with diabetes. Explore and find the app that best suits your needs.
My portable muscle massager has become my best friend. Using the muscle massager on my leg and knee helps relieve neuropathy and muscle fatigue symptoms. After a long day on my feet working or after a workout, the massager helps me relax and wind down.
Focus on nutrition
It's said often, but fueling your body with the proper nutrients is critical to overall diabetes management. When I spoke with my diabetes specialist at Kelsey Seybold clinic, she advised me to reduce my refined carbohydrate intake and avoid sugary drinks and processed foods - all the foods that taste good, LOL!
She also advised me to practice being mindful of my portion sizes to prevent overeating. Portion control was a challenge for me, and it took some time for my body to get used to, but so far, it has helped me tremendously.
Check your insurance coverage or ask your primary care provider for recommendations for registered dietitians (RDs) or certified diabetes care and education specialists (CDCESs) that you can meet with for personalized nutrition information.
Move your body
Take part in physical activities that you enjoy. Exercise doesn't have to feel like a chore when you discover activities that are fun for you. Some physical activity ideas include:
- Chair yoga
Once you find something you enjoy, set realistic goals to be consistent with your activity routine. Inviting a friend along can help you stay accountable for accomplishing the activity.
If you have the ability, give strength training a try. Strength training has helped me keep my body and weight under control. When I added weight training to my workout routine, I felt more energized, and I noticed I felt less fatigue during the day.
My sideline steps are crazy when I cover games during my job. Just keep that blood pumping!
Prioritize stress management
Practice relaxation techniques
Managing stress can be beneficial when trying to live a healthier lifestyle, and managing blood sugar levels is no different. My diabetes specialist encouraged me to cultivate a positive mindset about diabetes and becoming healthier. Although challenging, she suggested keeping my stress levels at bay by practicing relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, or deep breathing.
Reach out for support
Reach out for help if you need it. Don't hesitate to talk to a diabetes specialist, therapist, or support group. Often, people benefit from sharing their experiences with others who get it.
Additional tips to keep in mind
Getting started with 1 or 2 new habits and then working your way up to more can be more realistic. Celebrate your wins, no matter how small, because they result in significant changes over time!
Changing your routine to spice things up in your diabetes management can be a positive. The new year is an excellent opportunity to do it.
Above all, be kind to yourself so you can step into the new year with renewed confidence and a commitment to optimal diabetes management by embracing these changes and adopting a positive mindset. And remember, you are not alone.
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