Managing Type 2 Diabetes
5 Ways to Manage Diabetes in 10 Minutes Flat
Quick Tips for Managing Diabetes
Between constant carb-counting, frequent exercise sessions, and blood sugar monitoring, managing type 2 diabetes can sometimes feel like a round-the-clock job. But like any big task, breaking it into small steps can make it much easier to tackle. "The little things we do on a daily basis can make a big difference in our overall health," says Jina Ethelbah, ND, a primary care naturopathic doctor with the Sacramento Naturopathic Medical Center in California and a spokesperson for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. From reaching out to a friend to taking a quick meditation break, these tips can help keep your type 2 diabetes in check — and the ones listed here take 10 minutes or less.
'Snack' on Exercise
Even a few 5- to 10-minute bursts of moderate- to high-intensity exercise can help you manage diabetes, says Kashif M. Munir, MD, assistant professor of medicine in the division of endocrinology, diabetes, and nutrition at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore.
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) — short bursts of activity at 70 percent of your maximum aerobic capacity with equal amounts of time spent at rest or low-level exertion — may provide even better benefits for blood-sugar control and heart health than longer, less intense exercise, according to research published in February 2015 inDiabetes Spectrum. To try it yourself, try jogging at a pace that is challenging yet still comfortable for 5 minutes, then walk for the remaining 5 minutes.
Take a Meditation Break
As you’re no doubt aware, diabetes affects more than just your physical body — it can also weigh you down psychologically, says Dennis Godby, MA, ND, a primary care naturopathic doctor with the Sacramento Naturopathic Medical Center in Californiaand a spokesperson for the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. And when you feel frazzled, your body produces stress hormones that aggravate blood sugar levels and increase insulin resistance, he explains.
One solution: 5 to 10 minutes of meditation, which can help you stay calmer throughout the day. You can also try mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, which, according to a September 2014 study in the journalDiabetes Carecan help relieve depression in people with diabetes.
Give Yourself a Pep Talk
While it’s good to take steps to reduce the amount of stress in your life, nothing can stave it off forever. That’s why in addition to minimizing the stressors in your life, it can help to change the way youthinkabout stress. For example, people who don't perceive stress as a negative do better than those who think of stress as detrimental. When anxious thoughts pop up, try viewing them as a challenge and combat them with positive self-talk (like “I can do this,”), says the American Heart Association.
Eat Some Nuts
Thanks in part to their unsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids, nuts are a smart addition to your diabetes-friendly diet. Adding a handful or so to your meal plans might also protect your heart later on, too.
One 2004 study inDiabetes Carefound that when people with type 2 diabetes added 30 grams (about 1 ounce) of walnuts to a moderate-fat diet, they lowered their LDL cholesterol levels by 10 percent. Mixed nuts (in this case, walnuts, hazelnuts, and almonds) might help too, according to a 2013 study in theNew England Journal of Medicine. The researchers tracked 7,447 people (about half of whom had type 2 diabetes), and found that those who added 30 grams of mixed nuts to a Mediterranean diet reduced their risk of cardiovascular disease. Bonus: No cooking required.
Reach Out to a Friend
Don’t underestimate the power of friendship. People with type 2 diabetes don’t just get an emotional boost from their support networks — they’re also more likely to maintain healthy behaviors like exercising and eating right if they stay in close contact with their friends, according to a 2012 study published in the journal . Dr. Godby suggests maintaining at least three key relationships in your life to provide emotional support: one family member, one co-worker, and one friend.
Video: 5 Tips for Managing Diabetes
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