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diabetesmanagement

Pre-diabetes – A Wellness Opportunity To Help

There is an opportunity for wellness and wellness coaching to impact the lives of millions of people in a life-saving way. 79 million Americans are estimated to have a condition called pre-diabetes. Usually symptom free, without intervention they will develop full-fledged Type II diabetes within ten years and possibly endure physical damage to their heart and circulatory system along the way. Yet, according to the American Diabetes Association, if a person is successful at lifestyle improvement they can completely avoid the onset of diabetes 70% of the time.

couple biking

The Role of Exercise in the Treatment of Diabetes

Diabetes Word Cloud Concept

According to the American College of Sports Medicine’s flagship journal, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (1), there are more than 21 million Americans with Type 2 Diabetes as of 2010 with an estimated 7 million undiagnosed. If these numbers don’t mean much, let’s give it some perspective: in 1958 there were only 1.5 million. (Granted, the US population has increased, but only from about 180 million to 310 million, not 15-fold as in the numbers of T2D.) Furthermore, due to the now-defined pre-diabetes – or sub-clinical diabetes where the precursors to diabetes are lurking if lifestyle does not change dramatically – it is estimated that 80 million Americans are at risk. Thus, some public health officials are predicting that 21-33% of Americans will have diabetes by the year 2050. The healthcare burden this portends will bankrupt the nation. To make matters worse, the preponderance of both pre-diabetes and T2D is increasing in children and adolescents as sedentary behavior, poor diet and obesity abounds.

While prevention is optimal and much is being done in the way of public health messaging, one of the best means by which to regulate blood sugar in either healthy, pre-diabetes or T2D patients is through physical exercise. Recall above where we discussed how muscles use the sugar in the blood for fuel. The more muscles you have and the more regularly they work at some critical level of effort, the easier it is to control blood sugar. In fact, one’s levels of physical activity (PA) may be a better predictor of risk for diabetes than one’s BMI (body mass index, a ratio of height to weight.)

For the sake of discussion, we should break down physical activity into three main types – activities of daily living (ADL), aerobic exercise (AE) and resistance (or strength) exercise (RE). The MSSE article reviewed the data on all these for their impact on blood sugar, insulin control and T2D risk. Not unremarkably, the evidence strongly suggests that the more active you are, the lower your post-meal and long-term blood sugar is, the better your muscles are able to use the sugar in the blood (glucose tolerance or insulin sensitivity), the lower or lesser your insulin response is to food intake, and the lower your risk for diabetes is. What is remarkable, however, is how little physical activity is required in order to affect many of these changes and benefits.

As far as ADLs is concerned, the general prescription is to ambulate (walk, run, bike, etc) for 30-60 minutes a day or close to 10,000 steps/day, or almost 4 miles/day. This does not mean you have to take walks that last that long; it means you should move around more often throughout the day and sit less often. In fact, some studies show that simply standing up for 2 minute bouts of walking every 20 minutes of sitting lowered post-meal blood sugar and insulin response to eating. (2) While walking is effective, new studies (3) demonstrate that high intensity interval training (HIIT), or sprinting, may be an even better regulator of blood sugar. Comparing training programs in two groups of sedentary women, one doing intervals of moderate intensity, the other at high intensity, the authors found that the HIIT group had slightly greater fat oxidation in the muscles, a roundabout indicator of improved glucose control. HIIT might also be more time efficient.

Between the two studies referenced here, and many more that have looked at HIIT programs compared to traditional long, slower/lower intensity programs, the general belief is that the more muscles that are contracting and the harder they contract, the better the short-term and long-term blood sugar control. The only caveat here is that large muscle groups or bigger body movements are necessary to see these effects; single joint/small muscle contractions will not elicit the disease-modifying effects one might be seeking. For these reasons, RT has been getting more looks when it comes to modifying risk factors for T2D. In fact, the preponderance of evidence shows that RT, at sufficiently high enough intensities to build muscle mass, improves blood sugar control both by using sugar to fuel contractions and by improving the insulin sensitivity of those muscles even after the workouts.

Overall, physical activity has been shown to be an effective, efficient and low-risk/low side-effects treatment and preventive for T2D. A single bout of exercise is sufficient to regulate blood sugar for the next 16-24 hours.

As such, it is recommended that exercise be partaken nearly every day for at least 30 minutes; if obesity is a factor in a patient’s disease, then 60-90 minutes of accumulated physical activity is strongly suggested. Furthermore, a combination exercise prescription of cardiovascular and RT exercise – either same or alternating days – is deemed optimal.

To conclude, physical activity of all sorts has been found to enhance blood sugar uptake by muscles during the session and for several hours thereafter. Thus, it is one of the best, least invasive means by which to prevent, regulate and, for early stage T2D, even reverse diabetes and its downstream effects on the heart, kidneys, nerves (especially of the lower extremities), and eyes. Besides its collateral benefits on the cardiovascular system, it may help reduce weight though it is essential in maintaining weight loss. And PA clearly improves quality of life, not just through its physical benefits but its effects on the brain and psyche, reducing the risk of depression which may be a factor in both the sequence of events leading to weight gain, the challenges of both weight loss and disease management, and the reduction in one’s ability to enjoy various aspects of life due to immobility, neuropathy, visual impairment, and dialysis.

For more information about diabetes, exercise, pharmaceutical management and research, please visit the American Diabetes Association site at diabetes.org


Dr. Irv Rubenstein graduated Vanderbilt-Peabody in 1988 with a PhD in exercise science, having already co-founded STEPS Fitness, Inc. two years earlier — Tennessee’s first personal fitness training center. One of his goals was to foster the evolution of the then-fledgling field of personal training into a viable and mature profession, and has done so over the past 3 decades, teaching trainers across through country. As a writer and speaker, Dr. Irv has earned a national reputation as one who can answer the hard questions about exercise and fitness – not just the “how” but the “why”. 

References

1. Roberts et al, Modification of Insulin Sensitivity and Glycemic Control by Activity and Exercise. MSSE, Vol. 2013: 45(10):1868-1877
2. Dunstan et al., Breaking up prolonged sitting reduces glucose and insulin responses. Diabetes Care, 2012:35(5): 976-983
3. Astorino et al., Effect of Two Doses of Interval Training on Maximal Fat Oxidation in Sedentary Women. MSSE, Vol. 45(10), pp.1878-1886, 2013

 

 

dr-nick-rx

The Pharmacologics of Exercise: Yes, Exercise Is Medicine!

It’s been said: “If all the benefits of exercise could be placed in a single pill, it would be the most widely prescribed medication in the world.” Scientific evidence continues to mount supporting the numerous medicinal benefits of exercise. In fact, there’s hardly a disease that I can think of that exercise won’t help in one way or another, be it prevention, treatment, or even cure in some instances.

diabetesmanagement

What Fitness Professionals Need to Know About Exercise and Diabetes

Are you working with any clients who have type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, or even prediabetes? Well, you have a lot to learn if you don’t know the first thing about those conditions! There are over 100 million Americans currently have diabetes or prediabetes—some of them are, or will be, your clients.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder that results in elevated levels of blood glucose (“blood sugar”) that can cause many health complications if not managed effectively. Although exercise is one of the three cornerstones of diabetes management, sometimes it can complicate keeping blood glucose levels under control, especially in people who have to replace the insulin that their bodies no longer make (or make enough of). How they respond to being active really depends on the type of exercise and diabetes.

In any case, on a basic level, it’s good to know more about how exercise affects people with diabetes. I have lived well with type 1 diabetes for nearly half a century at this point, and I have always known at some level that exercise did good things for my blood glucose, even before I had my first blood glucose meter (after going 18 years without one).  How could I tell without a meter to test my levels?  Honestly, it was because being active always made me feel better, physically and emotionally.

I earned a PhD in Exercise Physiology to better understand how exercising helped me. You don’t have to go that far with your education, but if you have diabetes or are going to work with clients or patients who have it, here are some basic things that you really need to know.

#1: Exercise can help erase your blood glucose “mistakes”

  • Exercise acts kind of like an extra dose of insulin.
  • At rest, insulin is the main mechanism your body has to get glucose into muscle cells.
  • During exercise, glucose goes your muscles without needing any insulin (via muscle contractions).
  • Being regularly active makes your muscles more sensitive to insulin, so it takes less to have the same blood glucose lowering effect when you eat during or after exercise.
  • What better way to help erase a little overeating of carbs (or some insulin resistance) than a moderate dose of exercise to lower your blood glucose?

#2: Exercise doesn’t always make your blood glucose go down

  • It doesn’t always make your blood glucose come down, at least not right away.
  • During intense exercise, the excess glucose-raising hormones your body releases can raise your blood glucose.
  • Over a longer period of time (2-3 hours), it usually comes back down, but who wants to wait that long?
  • If you take insulin, you’ll need to take less than normal to correct a post-workout high or your blood glucose will likely be crashing low a few hours later.
  • A cool-down of less intense exercise (like walking) can help bring it back to normal, so do an easy, active cool-down after intense workouts or activities.

#3: Your muscles are critical to managing your blood glucose levels

  • Exercise also helps you build and retain your muscle mass.
  • Muscles are the main place you store carbs after you eat them—like a gas tank.
  • Exercising helps use up stored carbs, but can also increase the size of the tank.
  • When you eat carbs post-exercise, they can easily go into storage with a little insulin.
  • Being sedentary keeps the tank full and makes you resistant to insulin.
  • Aging alone can cause you to lose muscle mass over time, but you can combat it to a certain extent by recruiting all of your muscle fibers regularly.
  • Resistance training and/or high-intensity intervals build muscle more because they
    recruit the faster fibers that you don’t use when walking or doing easier activities.

#4: Exercise is the best medicine there is

  • Use exercise to control stress and to stave off depression—with no bad side-effects!
  • It’s a natural antioxidant—more effective and better than supplements!
  • Being regularly active prevents all sorts of cancers.
  • If you’re active, you’ll likely feel better and look younger than you are (as long as you don’t exercise too much).
  • You’ll be even less likely to catch a cold if you exercise moderately and regularly.
  • Standing more, taking extra steps, and fidgeting even help—be active all day long, and don’t forget your daily dose of the best medicine there is!

Expand your Education to Work More Effectively with Diabetic or Pre-Diabetic Clients

Check out Dr. Colberg’s 4 hour course with PTontheNet, Working with Clients with Diabetes or Prediabetes. With more knowledge about how to be active safely and effectively, you as their personal trainer can be a strong positive influence in getting diabetic or prediabetic individuals on the path to better health. Click here to learn more about the course!


Sheri R. Colberg, PhD, FACSM, is a Professor Emerita of Exercise Science at Old Dominion University and a former Adjunct Professor of Internal Medicine at Eastern Virginia Medical School. She is an internationally recognized authority on diabetes and exercise.

Personal trainer and her client with dumbbells

Metabolic Syndrome: A New Focus for Lifestyle Modification

Personal trainers have the opportunity to do more than just help people they train become more active. We need to be prepared to also help our clients implement lifestyle behavior changes related to stress, family history of coronary heart disease, obesity, smoking, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

A look at what is called metabolic syndrome will help you understand why, even though increasing physical activity levels is the overall best thing you can do for any client, there are additional ways to guide them to a healthier lifestyle. Sometimes you may be able to help them make the changes yourself; and, sometimes you will need to refer them to another health professional like a doctor or dietitian for guidance. Either way, knowing how to help them or when to direct them to someone who is more knowledgeable than you is important. So, first let’s become familiar with the syndrome and the clinical criteria that the doctor uses to diagnose it. Your goal is then to help your clients understand and make the necessary changes so that they don’t progress to cardiovascular disease and the almost certain heart attack heart that will be the end result.

Cardiovascular disease is still the number one cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States and much of this burden of disease can be linked to poor nutrition and a dramatic increase in sedentary lifestyles, leading to overweight and obesity. This increase in weight leads to an increase in the incidence of type 2 diabetes, and blood pressure and cholesterol problems, which are all well-established cardiovascular disease risk factors. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Adult Treatment Panel (ATP) III has updated the recommendations for the evaluation and management of adults dealing with high cholesterol, renewing its emphasis on the importance of lifestyle modifications for improving cardiovascular risk. The NCEP has coined the term “therapeutic lifestyle changes” (TLC) to reinforce both dietary intake and physical activity as crucial components of weight control and cardiovascular risk management.

As well as focusing attention on the LDL cholesterol (also called bad cholesterol) levels, the NCEP also identified metabolic syndrome as a secondary target of therapy. Metabolic syndrome (also called insulin resistance syndrome and syndrome X) is characterized by decreased tissue sensitivity to the action of insulin (pre-diabetes), resulting in a compensatory increase in insulin secretion. This metabolic disorder predisposes individuals to a cluster of abnormalities that can lead to such problems as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease and stroke. The prevalence of the syndrome has increased 61% in the last decade. It is crucial for medical professionals to identify patients at risk and follow these patients closely and counsel them about making lifestyle changes to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

GUIDELINE: According to the NCEP, the criteria for metabolic syndrome includes at least 3 of the following 5 clinical factors

Risk factor Defining level
Abdominal obesity
Men
Women
Waist circumference
>40 in (>102 cm)
>35 in (>88 cm)
Fasting triglyceride level >150 mg/dL
HDL cholesterol level
Men
Women
 
<40 mg/dL
<50 mg/dL
BP >130/>85 mm Hg
or taking antihypertensive medication
Fasting glucose level >100 mg/dL or diabetes

Source: Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults. Executive Summary of the Third Report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel III). Bethesda, Md: National Institutes of Health; 2001. NIH publication 01-3670.

Millions of Americans at risk for metabolic syndrome can sharply lower their chances of getting this disease by adopting a healthy lifestyle (stop smoking, low-fat diet, weight loss/maintenance and increased physical activity). Without diet and exercise modifications, most patients will eventually fail and progress to type 2 diabetes within a decade and experience a heart attack about 10 years later. Experts recommend a diet reduced in saturated fats (<7%), low in cholesterol (<200 mg/day), high in fiber (20-30gm/day) and reduced in simple sugars. Weight loss of only 5-7% (less than 15 pounds) can make a big difference in health markers like cholesterol and blood pressure. A program that includes daily exercise reaching 85% of heart rate for age is reported to be of benefit too. However, any exercise is better than none, and a target of 30 minutes every other day is a reasonable level for most people.

As a fitness professional reading this, hopefully you are not asking yourself “so what?” but are instead seeing an opportunity to educate and motivate your current clients and to use your knowledge to help attract future clients. The medical community is good at diagnosing this syndrome, but not necessarily equipped to provide patients with the tools to be successful with the lifestyle changes they recommend. There exists a wonderful opportunity to build a partnership with physicians in your area. Most physicians will gladly refer patients to you for help with the all-important exercise and nutrition portion of the treatment program. In many cases, you have more knowledge in this area than the physician who has been trained in tertiary, not preventative, (i.e. most MD’s know very little about diet and exercise since this is not a focus in medical school) medicine.  Often times all that you will need to get a referral is for the doctor to be aware of your existence and to give them an easy way to get the patient to you. A short introduction letter outlining your qualifications and showing your desire to help people make lifestyle changes is a good start. A personal visit to your primary care doctor and others in your area is even better. But, be prepared to take up just a few minutes of their time to introduce yourself, your idea, and leave your letter and cards.


Tammy Petersen, MSE, is the Founder and Managing Partner for the American Academy of Health and Fitness (AAHF). She’s written a book on older adult fitness and designed corresponding training programs. SrFit Mature Adult Specialty Certification is used nationwide as the textbook for a college based course for personal trainers who wish to work with mature adults. SrFit is also the basis for a specialty certification home study course that qualifies for up to 22 hours of continuing education credit with the major personal trainer certification organizations.

References

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Early release of selected estimates based on data from the January-June 2003 National Health Interview Survey. URL: cdc.gov/nchs/about/major/nhis/released200312.htm.
  2. Summary Health Statistics Tables for the U.S. Population: National Health Interview Survey, 2016 https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/SHS/tables.htm 16 Apr. 2018.
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Prevalence of health care providers asking older adults about their physical activity levels—United States, 1998. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. 51(19):412-4, 2002.
  4. Huang, Paul L. “A Comprehensive Definition for Metabolic Syndrome.” Disease Models & Mechanisms5-6 (2009): 231–237. PMC. Web. 16 Apr. 2018.
running-beach

Proven and Tested Tips to Run Safely with Diabetes

According to statistics, in 2014, 8.5% of adults above 18 years old had diabetes. Sadly, the disease is also affecting the youths below the age of 20. Basically, what this means is the chances of getting the disease are becoming higher for everyone. Eating healthy and maintaining a good exercise routine are often thought of as preventive measures but the truth is they can work wonders even if you have been diagnosed.

In this article, we will discuss some simple tips on how you can run safely with diabetes.  There is no reason for you to quit running just because you have the condition. In fact, being able to lose weight with running can contribute to your general health.

You simply have to take a few more things into consideration before you hit the road. First off, you need to understand the needs of your body depending on the type of diabetes you have.

Running With Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is basically when the pancreas does not produce enough insulin and the sufferer requires daily insulin injections. The condition is not curable and symptoms include excessive urine, constant hunger, thirst, weight loss, and fatigue.

Those suffering from type 1 diabetes face the risk of getting fatigued after extended periods of running. You will need to constantly monitor your sugar levels during the run and make sure they stay normal. This is one of the most important steps you ought to take: understand how your body reacts to exercise and fueling.

Once you understand your body’s reaction, you may opt to use a GU energy gel after every 15 minutes to fuel their runs. However, before making any decisions, consult your physician and get their advice first. When it comes to fueling, runners generally require 30-60 grams of carbohydrates every hour but this depends on your insulin levels.

Preventing Low Insulin Levels

Type 1 diabetes sufferers need to always remember that the blood glucose response to exercise will vary depending on these factors:

  • The level of your blood sugar before the run
  • The intensity or duration of the run
  • The changes in your insulin intake

Basically, through trial and error, you will be able to come up with a system of insulin intake and fueling that works for you.

Running With Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes and happens when your body does not properly use insulin-making your body “insulin resistant”.  Initially, your pancreas produces extra insulin but in time it isn’t enough to keep your sugar levels normal.

The symptoms are very similar to Type 1 diabetes and include weight loss, increased thirst, and frequent urination, fatigue, blurred vision and slow healing sores.

The benefit of running even with diabetes Type 2 is that, your muscles use glucose during exercise which means your glucose levels go down. There are also many long-term benefits of running with Type 2 diabetes such as lowered risk of heart problems.

Like Type 1 diabetes, you will need to constantly monitor your blood glucose levels during exercise and fuel accordingly. The same suggestions provided for Type 1 Diabetes can be applied to Type 2 diabetes.

General Tips for Running with Diabetes

Whichever Type of diabetes you are diagnosed with, there are some general rules you can follow to make sure you are safe during your runs. Of course, consulting your physician should always be on top of the list, after you do this, remember these five tips:

1.  Ease into running

This is true even if you have been running for a long time in the past. Remember that your body is different now and you need to understand it all over again. Instead of running a sprint immediately, gradually ease into it. Try walking for an hour, then upgrade to a brisk walk, then combine walking and jogging and finally try a short run.

2. Engage in Strength Training Exercises

According to one study, increased muscle mass attained as a result of strength training can contribute to blood glucose absorption thereby lowering the levels in the blood. This, in turn, can increase insulin sensitivity. You don’t have to go to the gym to lift weights but even workouts such as squats, push-ups, and lunges that use your own body weight can be done at home.

3. Have a Running Buddy

This is another great aid to running with diabetes safely. Find a running buddy who knows your condition and knows what to do if your blood sugar gets too low. Another option is to carry an identification tag with you that says that you have diabetes.

4. Wear the right footwear

Although this applies to everyone who runs, it is more serious if you have diabetes. Wearing the wrong kind of footwear could lead to getting foot ulcers. With diabetes, even the slightest blister could take a long time to heal and lead to many more complications such as gangrene.

When purchasing footwear, take into consideration the shape of your foot and whether you have foot deformities such as bunions. If you do have any kind of foot deformity, you might need special inserts or specially made therapeutic shoes.

5.  Keep yourself hydrated

A lack of water can greatly affect blood sugar levels so before you run, make sure you are fully hydrated and continue to hydrate during your run.

Conclusion

Running with diabetes is possible. You just have a checklist that is a little longer and a body that has different needs. Don’t let diabetes be the end of your running career! Remember that there are thousands of runners who continue to run marathons with the condition and you can do the same.


Amber Irwin is a running and sports writer; she loves to share her passion with fellow outdoor lovers. Amber believes running is an amazing sport for everyone and hopes to inspire others. Visit her website, everyfirststep.com

References

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs312/en/

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/statistics/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-1-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20353011

http://www.diabetes.org/diabetes-basics/type-2/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/type-2-diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20351193

https://www.endocrineweb.com/conditions/type-2-diabetes/type-2-diabetes-exercise

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2992225/

Electronic bathroom scale and glucometer with result of measurem

How You Can Fight Diabetes At Home

Unfortunately, diabetes is becoming a common disease in the United States and elsewhere. Some of that is genetic since you are at a higher risk if your parents had the disease, but an unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to it as well.

When you received your diagnosis of diabetes, you had to make some immediate changes to keep your blood sugar in check. Taking prescriptions and insulin will help, but there are some things you can do right at home to stay healthy and keep your glucose levels in the right zone. But do you know exactly why that’s so important?

What Uncontrolled Diabetes Can Do

How do you know if your diabetes isn’t under control? The best way is through your testing kit. That’s why you need to regularly test your blood glucose level. But Everyday Health lists some other signs of uncontrolled diabetes you should be on the lookout for:

  • Increased thirst.
  • Frequent urination.
  • Blurred vision.
  • Extreme fatigue.
  • Sores or cuts that heal slowly.
  • Unexplained weight loss.

Is having such high blood sugar that bad? You know that the long-term effects include vision loss and losing sensation in your feet, but those are so drastic that it can be hard to accept them as real. Here are some other problems that come from uncontrolled diabetes:

  • Difficulty using your bladder and bowels.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Bleeding gums and gum disease.
  • Blurry vision or seeing dark spots.
  • Dry, itchy, or cracked skin.
  • Pain in your extremities.
  • Muscle aches and pain.

Simple Changes To Your Diet

With all that can go wrong with uncontrolled diabetes, it’s not hard to see why you need to work on keeping your blood sugar in check. Besides taking prescriptions as ordered, you can do this by making some changes to your diet.

One of the most obvious is lowering the number of carbs you eat. That can be hard, especially since sugar and carbohydrates are addictive. Healthline.com has a great list of ways you can reduce your carbohydrates at home:

  • Stop drinking regular soda and other sweetened drinks. These are a major source of sugar, so eliminating these can really help your diabetes.
  • Cut back on the amount of bread, pasta and rice that you eat.
  • Give up fruit juices like orange juice or apple juice. Although they have good vitamins, they’re also full of sugar.
  • When you snack, focus on protein and fiber.

But eating well means more than cutting back on carbs. Here are some other tips for a diabetic-friendly diet:

  • Eat more non-starchy vegetables like broccoli or salad greens.
  • Make alcohol a rare treat, as beer and wine have a lot of carbs in them.
  • Add more lean protein on your plate, especially fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids.

Exercising With A Home Gym

Besides eating better, you need to get some exercise. Not only will this help reduce your blood sugar levels, it can keep your body healthy — and diabetics need that more than others. But you don’t have to buy an expensive gym membership. In fact, you can create a gym in your own home. Redfin explains there are a few home gym essentials to focus on, including:

  • Dumbbells and kettlebells: easy to use and very versatile
  • Yoga or pilates mat: makes exercising more comfortable
  • Resistance bands: inexpensive and provide a lot of exercise benefits

In addition, look into apps and devices like Fitbits to help keep you motivated by seeing the results of your efforts.

Get Diabetes Under Control

Having diabetes is annoying, but there are many ways you can keep your blood sugar under control. Know the signs of high blood sugar, and make some smart choices with your diet. Then start exercising at home. This way, you can stay healthy for many years to come even with diabetes.


Henry Moore is the co-creator of FitWellTraveler. The site blends two of his favorite subjects (travel and health) to provide readers with information about how to get the most out of both. He believes travel can change you, and good health preserves you. He combines both in his work on FitWellTraveler.
yoga-lake

Stress Management and Diabetes

Diabetes, is left uncontrolled, can cause a whole host of health complications such as vision impairment and neuropathy. It is important to adhere to any instructions your doctor has given you to keep blood sugars controlled. Your physician may also educate you on exercise, diet and stress management to keep a balanced and healthy lifestyle.

Anyone who suffers from chronic stress may have many health issues later in life. One condition that may arise is diabetes.  Prolonged stress can either cause diabetes or make it tough to obtain normal blood sugars. Blood sugar numbers usually go up and down depending on what you do throughout the day. If you are fasting your numbers should be less than 100 but could be 180 two hours after eating a meal. Most diabetics must monitor their glucose levels on a regular basis.

People who have diabetes may also feel stressed because of their treatment plan. This is also called, “Diabetic Distress”.  Individuals with diabetes have many things they must do to take care of themselves such as: check glucose levels, exercise, cook and eat healthy meals, maintain a certain diet and take medications as prescribed. This new lifestyle can be very stressful for many people who have diabetes.

Along with Diabetic Distress there are the usual stressors that are a part of life. It is important to find ways to control stress throughout your lifespan. If you are newly diagnosed, the first step to reducing stress is to talk to your physician. Your medical team is on your side and can help you find a Diabetes Educator. These individuals host classes to go over any new information and questions you may have.

When controlling stress, you need to find out what works for you personally. Some individuals like to take a walk in the park, others choose to practice meditation or use a combination of many techniques. When you start to try new practices remember that you may have to try each a few times. The body has to get used to approaches. A qualified stress management consultant can help you to create a stress management plan specifically for you.

A great way to incorporate stress management into your daily routine is through meditation. Choose a certain time of day that you know will work for you. Some individuals find it helpful to meditate before getting out of bed in the morning. Others find it works best at the end of the day when they have finished working. Taking a break at work during lunch can be helpful as well. Once you find the time of day that works best choose your space. You want to find a room in your house that is free from distraction. It will also help to turn off all electronics and the television.

When practicing meditation, remember that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Some individuals choose to meditate laying on a mat while others sit or stand. Choose a position that is comfortable for you. When sitting for meditation your knees should be lower than your hips to help sustain the position.

Guided meditation is also a great choice for meditation. A trained instructor will guide you through the meditation to help you reduce stress. Please check out this free guided meditation that you can try at home. Our Soothing Garden meditation may be shared with friends and family as well.


Robyn Caruso is the Founder of The Stress Management Institute for Health and Fitness Professionals. She has 15 years of experience in medical based fitness.