The number of people living with diabetes the world over has been rising consistently in the 21st century according to the WHO. The rising numbers can be attributable to improved life expectancy which means that the old-to-young people ratio today is higher than in the last century. Diabetes is very prevalent in aging people due to their mostly sedentary lifestyles. Bad lifestyle behaviors and food choices among the millennials and generation Z’s have also caused a spike in diabetes cases among youthful people.
If you are diabetic, you need to make radical lifestyle changes in order to manage the disease and live a longer, healthier life. You need to be keener on staying fit both mentally and physically. Here are a few tips to help you with that.
1. Proper exercising
Regular exercising compensates for your body’s inability to produce or manage insulin. This is because physical activity lowers blood glucose levels in your body and makes the body more sensitive to insulin. In addition, exercising lowers your chances of becoming obese or getting a stroke, cardiac disease, and/or high blood pressure. The last thing you want is to add more complications to your already immune-compromised body.
Which are the most ideal exercises for a diabetic person? The easiest and most effective ones include biking, 30-minute or longer walks, and aerobics. If you happen to be in the US, walking to work, or more specifically to coworking spaces in Phoenix, is a good form of exercising. Biking is great because it doesn’t get you too wasted, especially if you have a motorized bicycle, and you won’t need any prior biking experience to get started. Your motorized bicycle does all the heavy lifting for you to enable you to bike faster and for longer. Not having to strain when you pedal also lowers the risk of getting wounds that, most often than not, morph into diabetic ulcers.
Pro tip: It is crucial to check your sugar levels before commencing your exercising sessions. Only exercise when they are very stable.
2. Keep your adventurous side of you super active
The uncontrolled sugar levels caused by diabetes can mess up your mental health by exacerbating diabetes stress, a condition that makes diabetics somewhat “unreasonable” with their life expectations. Diabetics are also more vulnerable to depression and anxiety.
That said, exploring the world and nature, in general, is a known way of boosting mental wellbeing in people. It promotes happiness, raises your moods, and helps you to see the positive side of life. As you explore the world, however, it should not be lost to you that people with underlying conditions such as diabetes are at a higher risk of getting severe complications of COVID-19. You need to take extra caution like avoiding public commutes; rent a car and drive yourself instead. Note that unless your driver’s license is admissible in your overseas vacation destination, you will need to apply for an international driving license.
3. Healthy eating
What you eat has a lot to do with how your body manages its blood sugar. Healthy eating also prevents you from getting diseases that can complicate diabetes such as HBP and stroke.
Healthy eating for a diabetic person should include a lot of veggies like spinach, broccoli, carrots, etc. This is because veggies contain very low calories and are rich in nutrients such as Vitamin C which helps in reducing optical complications that are common with people living with diabetes. Also, increase your fruit intake in between meals such as watermelons and avocados.
Your diet should also include proteins such as fish, beans, chicken, and eggs. For example, the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish like sardines lowers the risk of cardiovascular problems. Acids found in fish (EPA, DHA, and fatty acids), on the other hand, are proven to have the ability to control sugar levels and may boost your artery functioning.
Important note: Remove alcohol from your diet. Drinking alcohol and smoking can significantly lower your body’s ability to suppress diabetes. Avoid foods with excessive sugar and fats and keep the body hydrated by drinking lots of water.
4. Get sufficient sleep
Besides exercise and dieting, sleeping between 7-8 hours per day, according to medical experts, is very crucial in weight management and controlling diabetes. Sufficient sleep keeps obesity at bay, which is great for diabetics because excess weight can lead to heart complications and blood pressure. Additionally, long and deep sleep enables the body to respond and better manage the insulin produced during sleep.
Note: Type 2 diabetes patients are at a higher risk of getting sleep disorders like sleep apnea especially when they have excess fat around the neck. Take your fitness routine a notch higher if you are experiencing difficulties in breathing during your sleep.
Diabetes is chronic and irreversible but, with a few lifestyle changes, you can still live a normal and quality life. Normalize making healthy choices in everything you do. Wearing a label that indicates your condition is also advisable just in case of a severe diabetic complication when away from home. Most importantly, always have frequent health checkups and follow your doctor’s advice.