By Tyler Stevenson
A new year means new beginnings. Traditionally, it’s a time to resolve, making changes for the better in our lives. This year, I decided to write a resolution list explicitly dedicated to diabetes. I hope that some of you will want to try these ideas with me.
1. Find a new snack that’s low in carbohydrates and calories. Life can be hectic. You’re likely to get hungry if you stay up late, but it’s important not to let your blood glucose get out of hand. Pick a healthy snack that’s low in carbohydrates, like apples and peanut butter or low-fat yogurt.
2. Do more cardiovascular exercise. Cardio is not only strengthening but also an excellent way to lower blood glucose levels. An excellent low impact exercise is swimming: It’s easy on your joints and a perfect workout for your entire body. Whatever activity you choose, try hard to stay with it all year.
3. Make a schedule. Life can get busy and stressful, so having set times to eat and exercise simplifies the diabetes lifestyle. In that respect, I’ve found that a large calendar is helpful. It allows me to make notes about the essential things I need to do and budget my time to eat and work out. It’s also a constant visual reminder to keep working on my health. Of course, although writing down what needs to be done is a good start, actually doing it is what’s going to keep you healthy.
4. Learn to cook at least one diabetes-friendly meal. This should be your “go-to” meal, for which you know precisely how much insulin to take. My favorite meal includes baked chicken, green beans, and brown rice. If I am hungry and in a hurry, I reach for a prepackaged snack with an exact carb count listed on the package. Taking the guesswork out of bolusing for snacks and meals will lead to better blood sugar levels.
5. Search out one new tip or fact about diabetes every week. We all need to continue learning how to control better and manage our disease, so look for a weekly tip that you can apply to your everyday life. Diabetes Health is full of them.
6. Keep your A1C at the level your healthcare professional recommends. To get an overall picture of your average blood glucose level, you need to check your A1C every 90 days. There is no fooling around when it comes to this. Keeping my A1C between 6% and 8% is the Golden Rule, and the closer to 6%, the better.
Please make up your list and share it with others. I hope you have a safe and happy new year.