Community Health Services of Union County, Inc. 

Call Us:  704-296-0909

Ways to Get Your Diabetes On Track

It's never too late to start taking care of your diabetes. Every day is a new opportunity to reach your goals, even in small steps. Try these practical tips to lose weight, boost energy, and feel better about your diabetes management.

Walk It Off

Thirty minutes of walking burns about 150 calories -- and you don't have to do it all at once. Briskly stroll to a nearby park to eat your lunch. Instead of watching your grandchildren's sporting events from the bleachers, keep an eye on the action while walking around the ball diamond or soccer field. Be sure to check your feet before and after walking, and always wear sneakers to protect against injury.

Review Your Medications

Go over your blood glucose-lowering medications with your health care provider. Some newer medicines, such as Victoza and Byetta, might aid in weight loss. Keeping track of your blood sugar levels can help you and your provider flag any issues that could be related to your medication.

Get Your Zzz's

Skimping on sleep can cause weight gain, add stress, and compromise your immune system. Sufficient shut-eye also is key for blood glucose control.

Fill Up on Fruits and Veggies

Reduce calories (and carbs) by sprinkling blueberries instead of croutons onto green salads and mixing in lots of crunchy sweet peppers, celery, and cucumbers. Non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, greens, and tomatoes contain less carbohydrate than other veggies but pack a nutritional punch.

Turn Off the Television

A recent review of more than 50 studies confirms that too much screen time is linked to consuming fattening fast foods, energy-dense snacks, and high-calorie drinks.

Lift Light Weights

Strength training several days a week tones muscles (which use lots of glucose) and can help you better control your diabetes. Start with light weights -- 5 pounds or less -- and get instruction from exercise videos, a smartphone app, or a class at your gym. Remember to test your blood sugar before you start and after you are done. Also be sure to drink water during the workout to avoid dehydration.

Tidy Up

Washing windows, scrubbing floors, and raking the lawn all burn calories. The reaching, twisting, and stretching also help. 

Sneak In Exercise

Always keep a pair of walking shoes and socks in the trunk of your car or stashed under your desk at work. When you find yourself with at least 20 minutes of free time, lace up and head out for a quick walk.

Climb Stairs More Often

Coaches have long had players run up stairs to get them in shape, and you can do the same. If your house has more than one level, use the bathroom on the floor above or below to get more stair-climbing into your day. Doing laundry? Take piles of folded clothes up to bedrooms in several trips.

Exercise with a Buddy

Several studies have found that people who exercise with another person stick with it longer than people who exercise alone. Working out with someone is more fun, and a little friendly competition could even boost your intensity!

Trick Your Taste Buds

If you usually have a bowl of ice cream, swap it for a sweet fruit (or at least eat half as much ice cream and top it with sliced banana). Or have light microwave popcorn instead of chips. Exchange high-calorie trail mix for a homemade version: Toss baked wheat or oat cereal with a handful of nuts and raisins.

Don't Waste Commercial Time

When watching TV, get up and do a minute of jumping jacks or knee raises when commercials come on.