People aren’t just living longer with diabetes. They’re extending those years with health and vitality - you can too. 

Think of your health as a puzzle. You may not have the freedom to change the pieces you’ve been given, but with small adjustments, those pieces may fit together better. Remember, diabetes is only one of those pieces - you can boost your other health variables with a balanced, realistic approach.

Do Something Active Every Day

Find what you enjoy and do more of it. Do it every day. Good habits stick when we hold ourselves accountable to a schedule, especially if we have plans to meet a friend. You know how your mind works and what your obstacles are. Set yourself up for success. 

Moving your body is one of the best things you can do. Use an exercise app on your phone to track your progress, or a smartwatch if you have one. 

  • Meet a friend to walk, sign up for an exercise class, use a stationary bike, swim

  • Take the stairs, clean your house, park at the far end of the parking lot

  • Check out this free Pacer Pedometer and Step Tracker app

Sit Less

I love when my Apple Watch tells me to stand – it’s so easy to lose track of time spent sitting. Whether it’s working, traveling, or relaxing on the couch, if there really is “too much of a good thing,” it applies here.

When we sit, our insulin does too. I can vouch; if a sit for a few hours working on my computer, my blood sugar can be challenging. With my continuous glucose monitor, I can “see” the benefits of a mid-day walk in real-time. Busy muscles activate the insulin in our bodies.

  • Break up your sitting time

  • Try taking a walk at lunch instead of sitting through it 

Eat Well

Are you a diet hopper – always jumping on the newest popular solution? Forget about those wishy-washy diets, establish a healthy eating pattern instead. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all way to eat; it’s important to find what speaks to you, make it practical, and stick with it over the long haul.

  • Meet with a dietitian; most insurance plans cover yearly appointments for people living with diabetes

Decrease Your Stress Levels

You don’t have to buy $100 Lululemon pants to get your yoga/meditation on. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of your own home. Start by identifying your stressors and what you can do to change them. 

I personally had the bad habit of rushing to work in the morning, finding just one more thing to do before I left home. I raced to the hospital - dumping stress hormones as I busted through the doors, diving at the time clock with my badge. I didn’t want crazy, but that’s what I had created for myself. 

  • Stress hormones raise blood sugars

  • Check out these popular (and free) apps: Calm App for meditation and mindfulness or Daily Yoga – for a yoga studio at home

We all have areas that simple changes can improve. Start small. Be realistic. Put one foot in front of the other and make it happen. What will your first step be? 

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