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Happy African American Athletic Woman Eating An Apple After Exercise

5 Tips for Healthy and Consistent Lifestyle Choices

Exercise and a healthy diet are crucial for me if I want to keep my blood sugars under control. Exercising before work gives me extra energy to start my day and helps me to make better decisions regarding food. Having had type 1 diabetes most of my life, smart food choices and exercise are part of every day. If I get up early to work out, I'm less inclined to grab the donut from the breakroom table. I still do, sometimes, but it really helps to keep me in check most of the time. Getting up early before work is hard. If I start with making a good decision to work out, I want to keep it going.

Below are a few tips that work for me to keep me focused on good living and healthy choices:

  1. Have a good bedtime routine. I have an alarm on my phone set to remind me to go to bed on time. That helps me to stop binge watching TV and getting good rest helps me have the energy for a solid workout when I wake up.
  2. Have a plan of what you are going to do for your activity or workout so you are prepared mentally and don't take time away from your workout because of indecision
  3. Find an accountability buddy. Find a person who has a similar vision about health and wellness that you can check in with. Sharing successes and challenges regarding living a healthy lifestyle helps prevent burnout and allows for support in staying on track.
  4. Meal prep is key for me. I cook something on Sunday to take to work for lunches for the first few days of the week then plan leftovers or another easy meal for the last two days of the week. If I'm going to work out in the morning, I don't have time to stare blindly into the fridge looking for healthy foods to pack before I walk out the door.
  5. Have healthy food available for snacks. I shop weekly in order to have fresh fruits and veggies. I wash grapes and cherries and have them ready in the fridge. Fruit that needs to ripen I keep in a bowl on the counter. I try to limit it to three days worth of fruit so it doesn't all ripen at the same time. The rest I keep in the fridge to replenish the bowl. I used to waste fruit by putting it all out at the same time leaving me with unappetizing pieces by the end of the week. Brown pears aren't as fun to eat as beautiful, yellow fruit.

Listen to Your Body, but Stay Consistent

Finally, allow yourself a little grace. Not every week will be perfect. Some days are meant for PB&J vs planned meals. Some mornings may be best spent sleeping in if that's what your body needs. On those days, consider a light walk over your lunch hour or taking the kids to the park at the end of the day to allow for movement and rejuvenation. Get back in the routine the next day. You've got this! Work and family and outside commitments all take time and round out a great life. Eating well and exercising give me the energy to make it happen.


Sue Ridder, BSN, RN, CDE
Sue Ridder, BSN, RN, CDE

Sue Ridder, BSN, RN, CDE has been with CHI Health since 2005 and spent part of her nursing career as a psych RN. Currently Sue works in the primary care clinics to provide diabetes education to patients and their loved ones in their medical home. Her true passion is helping people to identify and use their strengths to set and achieve their wellness goals.

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