December 2, 2021
New Year is just around the corner. It is the perfect time to reflect on the year past and start new habits and establish personal goals for the year to come. If you have diabetes, here are some ideas to focus on when making your New Year’s resolutions for 2022.
Follow up with your doctor and diabetes team regularly
Talk to your family doctor, endocrinologist, and diabetes nurse and dietitian team to come up with a plan for how many visits you should make each year. If your diabetes is well managed, most doctors recommend follow up every 3-6 months for a regular checkup including blood work such as a HBA1C test. If your blood sugar is higher, a doctor may recommend a visit every 3 months. Following up with your diabetes team regularly will support you in managing your diabetes.
Know your numbers
Know all your numbers so you can track your diabetes control and other health conditions. Find out what your Hemoglobin A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol (especially the LDL or bad cholesterol) are. Hemoglobin A1C shows your average blood glucose level for the previous three months. Keeping track of your numbers can help you make better-informed decisions about your health.
Plan healthy meals
Establish a well-balanced meal plan including whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, legumes, and low-fat dairy. Whole grains, fruit and milk and yogurt should be counted as carbohydrates and should be eaten in limited portions. Consistent eating helps keep your blood sugar stable, prevents you from overeating, and sets you up to make healthy choices.
Add exercise into your daily routine
Include at least 30 minutes of physical activity into your daily routine. If you feel overwhelmed by the idea of adding exercise to your day, here are some tips to sneak it in:
· Park a few blocks away or get off bus a few stops earlier from your destination to add some steps.
· Get outside! Being outdoors can make exercise seem effortless. A quick walk around the block, gardening, or biking can be fun and get your cardio in.
· Stretch. You can do it anywhere, even before you get out the bed or at your desk during the workday. It helps your blood flow through your body and increases your range of motion.
Manage your stress
While we often think about the physical aspects of health, emotional health is equally as important and connected to physical health. Stress can have a massive impact on your health and wellbeing. Here are some great ways you can manage stress:
· Spend some time with friends. You could go on a walk together. A good laugh or talking with friends can relieve stress and help you feel much better.
· Be physical active.
· Take up a hobby or activity you enjoy.
· Try ways to relax such as deep breath, yoga or dancing.
· Set limits on what you will do for others.