Diabetes Around the Clock

Having diabetes is a constant commitment. Make smart and healthy choices—even during the most hectic days.

By
Health Monitor Staff

When it comes to the critical elements of diabetes management, eating breakfast and remembering to test your fasting blood sugar levels would certainly be on the list. Managing your blood sugar is an around-the-clock job. And when you make small steps throughout each day, you can take a huge leap toward controlling and managing your condition.

At work:

Morning break

  • Get in a little exercise. Use the stairs, maybe spending a few minutes going up and down a few flights to clear your head and stretch your legs. For each minute you spend walking the stairs, you could burn up to 10 to 15 calories.
  • Enjoy a snack. Make your own low-sugar yogurt parfait. Combine a 6-ounce cup of plain Greek yogurt and half a cup of fresh peaches in a bowl for a healthy and satisfying morning pick-me-up. This 200-calorie snack is packed with calcium and fiber.

Lunchtime

  • Don't skip lunch. Keep your blood sugar steady by sticking to low-fat, lean-protein options. A turkey sandwich on whole-grain bread with a side of salad greens is satisfying and won't cost you a lot of calories, sugar or carbohydrates.
  • Drink water. Refill your glass often to stay energized and hydrated. Switching to water from coffee, soda or juice can help cut back on the total sugar and calories in your diet. Flavor your water with a squeeze of lemon or lime, or with an orange wedge instead.

Afternoon break

  • Take "me" time. Relieve stress and tension right in your office. Shut your eyes and breathe deeply for a couple of minutes of meditation to clear your mind. Mental stress has been found to elevate blood glucose levels in people with diabetes.
  • Wiggle your toes. Ward off diabetic foot problems by performing simple exercises to increase circulation, reduce pain and strengthen your feet. Try this one: Lift your leg slightly off the floor and wiggle your toes. Then move your feet in a clockwise circle from the ankle for a count of 10 before switching directions and doing the same counter-clockwise.

Back home:

  • Keep a journal. Besides recording your blood glucose numbers, write some of your health goals for the week in your daily journal. Include a tip for yourself to help you stay motivated. Try something like: "Lose just five pounds to fit into my favorite outfit again!"
  • Get some shut-eye. Eight hours of sleep per night will keep you well rested—and help you control your weight and blood pressure. You'll be prepared to start the next day off on the right foot.
Published
April 2013