When you have diabetes, medication will be important in helping you regulate your blood glucose, but it is not the only therapy that you should incorporate into your diabetes management plan. As you work with your doctor, you will find that lifestyle changes can help you reduce or even eliminate your need for medication and feel healthier. Here are some steps you can take to prevent diabetes from taking over your life.
Focus on nutrition
Creating a diabetes-friendly diet will require knowledge of the glycemic index of the foods you eat so you know what foods will give you lasting energy and which ones will cause severe blood sugar spikes. You will want to include more foods in your diet that take a long time to burn off, as these will keep your blood glucose relatively stable throughout the day. These foods include whole grains, lean proteins, and fresh produce.
Get up and get moving
Exercise is important for patients with diabetes, because it is essential for weight management and good blood circulation. When you are starting an exercise program, consulting your doctor for recommendations on the right type of activity can help you ease into a routine so that you do not cause injury to yourself. Generally, aerobic activities are the best way to get your heart rate up, and these activities can range from moderate to rigorous exercise.
Drinking water is one of the simplest yet most beneficial ways to improve your health. You should drink six to eight glasses of water every day to support good circulation and digestion. Pure water is the best way to hydrate, but you can supplement your daily intake of water with non-caffeinated, non-alcoholic, sugar-free beverages, like unsweetened tea or lemonade made with artificial sweeteners.
You can find more guidance on staying healthy with diabetes at any age with the Diabetes Education offered at Riverside Community Hospital. Learn more about our comprehensive health services on our website or by calling our Consult-A-Nurse healthcare referral line at (951) 788-3463.