The start of a new year is a great time to reflect on our previous year’s goals, what we accomplished, and what we wish to improve over the upcoming year. Diabetes management is a lifelong process, and something can always be done to further improve your health. Consider these four tips for the new year:
1.) Closely Monitor Your Blood Sugar Control
While everyone has a different diabetes management plan, it is always important to know how controlled a diabetes diagnosis is. For some individuals, this may look like regularly self-checking their blood sugar at home as discussed with a medical provider. For others, this may mean ensuring an A1C lab is drawn every 3-6 months as recommended by the American Diabetes Association (ADA). Speak with your medical provider regarding your diabetes monitoring plan.
2.) Move More
This could mean anything from exercising more frequently in the gym to using exercise bands while watching TV at home. While everyone is in a different place in their exercise journey, having a goal to ‘move more’ can further improve diabetes management. The ADA recommends aiming for 150 active moderate-intensity minutes each week or about 20 minutes every day. Make sure to start where you are comfortable and speak with your medical provider to ensure your movement routine is appropriate for you.
3.) Use Food as Fuel
It is known that nutrients provide energy and nourishment to the body. With a diagnosis such as diabetes, foods low in nutrients can spike blood sugars in addition to providing little energy. While we should not expect ourselves to live off of only green vegetables each day, incorporating even one additional source of dietary produce may suppress cravings, provide energy, and displace additional unhealthy snack foods.
4.) Find a Healthy Form of Stress Relief
Not everyone who has a diabetes diagnosis may be aware that psychological and emotional stress can increase blood sugars. While you may never live without any stress, having a positive outlet can improve health. Consider participating in a stress relief activity for at least 3-5 minutes each day. Try walking, talk therapy, listening to a favorite song, journaling, or using a meditation app.
Trying even one of the following health-related actions may improve your health, balance, and blood sugar control over this new year!
If you need help with your diabetes management plan, talk to your provider.