Type 2 Diabetes Guide

Diabetes and Lifestyle Considerations

A diagnosis of can be a shock, and obviously has an impact on one's lifestyle. Proper control of the disease becomes an important part of your everyday life. changes are unavoidable, but once you've learned to work it into your daily routine, diabetes management becomes much easier.

Meals, Eating Schedules, and Dietary Changes

As a diabetic, regular meal times are important to help keep blood sugar levels under control. as well as the in each meal or snack are also important.

  • Eating out: many restaurants are willing to accommodate requests to prepare dishes differently. Call ahead and see if they can oblige you. You may want to have a small, healthy snack prior to going so that you're not tempted by all the goodies on the menu. A high-protein snack such as a small piece of cheese or a piece of lean meat can help you feel fuller so that it's less tempting to over-indulge.

  • Parties: again, you might wish to have a snack before you go, since many parties put out lots of fatty or sugary treats. You can also discretely carry snacks of your own to munch.

  • Family meals: healthy, balanced meals are good for everyone, not just diabetics. Learning to prepare nutritious meals can be fun for everyone in the family. Including other family members in the preparation can make it easier for everyone to adapt.

Exercise

Regular helps to control blood sugar levels. In addition, it has a host of other benefits including improving cholesterol, blood pressure, and even mood! It also helps you to maintain your weight or . Exercise is an important part of any plan. Make sure you consult with your doctor prior to starting an exercise routine.

  • Travelling: It's always much harder to stick with an exercise routine when you're on the road. Look for hotels that have on-site gyms, or are located near gyms. If that's not possible, you can always put on your and go for a brisk walk.

    Some people carry their own portable exercise equipment. Obviously this isn't always practical or convenient. However, if you're looking for something that's lightweight and easy-to-carry, many people like resistance bands.

  • Going to the gym: Most people find excuses not to exercise at some point in their lives. Maybe you're feeling a little tired, or perhaps the road conditions are terrible, or you might just be having a really busy day and could use some extra time to get caught up.

    Enlisting a friend to go to the gym with you may help you to keep on track. When you know that someone's waiting for you, you'll probably be less likely to skip a workout! Finding a gym nearby may also help to keep you going since you won't have to fight traffic or poor road conditions to get there. And, of course, find a place where you're comfortable with the facilities and the staff.

  • Exercising at home: Buying home exercise equipment can offer more time flexibility, convenience, and sometimes even save you money over going to a gym. The downside is that you probably won't be able to equip your home the same way as a gym, so the same exercises over and over again may become boring or stale. Try to switch it up a little to avoid boredom. Instead of spending a half-hour on the treadmill, for example, try something different:

    • Go for a brisk walk in a park or around the neighborhood;
    • Invite a friend to go for a more challenging hike;
    • Buy a variety of exercise videos. Choose a range of them, from traditional aerobic workouts to yoga, tai chi, dance, zumba, or whatever catches your fancy.

  • Timing: Exercising can be more difficult after a long day at work. If you are one of those people who find themselves sorely tempted to skip exercising after work, then try doing it first thing in the morning. In the beginning it may be difficult to get up earlier, but you may find you enjoy getting the workout over with early. Some people also like to use their lunch hour to exercise since it gives them a 'break' during the workday. Choose a time of day that you can stick with.

Monitoring Blood Glucose

Many people find it easier to manage blood glucose levels, diabetes medication and/or insulin when they follow a regular routine. Whenever any changes are made to your schedule, to avoid extreme high blood sugar () or low blood sugar (). Both conditions can be serious if not treated.

Changes in schedule or routine can include:

  • Eating at different times;
  • A change in what you eat or how much you will be eating (for instance, you may know that it's likely that you'll eat much more at a family gathering);
  • Intensity of a workout;
  • Skipping a workout;
  • Missing a meal;
  • ... and so on.

Always check your blood sugar levels whenever you deviate from your regular routine, and consult your doctor for advice if you notice any abnormalities in your blood glucose levels. Your doctor may recommend an adjustment to medication or insulin.

Consider carrying a card in your wallet to alert people that you are diabetic. List the signs of hypoglycemia and hyperglycemia and note what they can do to help you if you are unable to help yourself. Showing a close friend or family member what to do is also advisable, in case of emergency and for peace of mind.

Diabetes and lifestyle changes go hand-in-hand. The initial adjustment period can be particularly challenging, but it's a necessary adjustment to maintain optimal health.

 

 

The information on this website is based on our own research and personal experience, and is not a substitute for medical advice. Questions about your health and individual situation should be directed to your doctor.