10 Ways to Live Well With Diabetes

10 Ways to Live Well With Diabetes

Diabetes is a chronic illness, but it doesn’t need to get in the way of living life to the fullest. However, individuals with diabetes have to be more careful about their diet and personal habits to maintain their health. There are simple ways to help manage your blood sugar levels and develop a lifestyle that supports living well.  



1. Cook at home

The food you cook at home is generally healthier than what you’ll find at a restaurant. At home, you know exactly how the food is cooked and what’s included in the recipe. Restaurants also serve large portions that may cause you to eat more calories than you need. 


2. Search out new, healthy recipes online

Older couple looking for recipes online.

It’s never been easier to look up new recipes because a simple Google search will provide an endless list. To stay on the safe side, look for recipes that have at least four stars. Read the reviews for a heads up on any problems or successful substitutions. 


3. Keep a food diary

A food diary is a place to record everything you eat. It serves several purposes for individuals with diabetes. First, it helps you stay within a healthy calorie and macronutrient (proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) range. 

Second, if you have trouble maintaining your blood glucose levels, you have a way to see if there’s a correlation between your recent diet and your blood glucose. There may be certain foods that cause spikes or drops in your blood glucose. A food diary may reveal patterns that help you better monitor your health.  


4. Make healthy substitutions

Your favorite foods might be high in fat or full of non-nutritious carbs, as opposed to the carbohydrates you get eating fruits and vegetables. Substitute whole-grain bread for white bread or berries for candy. Broil, roast, or grill your food instead of frying it. Look for ways to make your snacks and meals healthier to keep yourself feeling your best. 



5. Exercise

Older group of people exercising outside.

Regular exercise makes it easier to manage blood glucose levels. However, exercise has many other health benefits beyond diabetes. It benefits your cardiovascular system, improves blood flow, and improves your mood thanks to endorphins. 

Take a walk, go hiking, ride your bike, or go for a swim. There are plenty of workout videos on YouTube. Try dance, barre, pilates, or yoga from the comfort of your living room. The key is to be active for 30 to 45 minutes every day. 

A word of caution—protect your skin before you exercise. Chafing, blisters, and rubbing can lead to injuries that may not heal well due to complications from diabetes. Try an anti-chafing product like VitalFit’s Liquid-to-Powder Plus to create a protective friction barrier.  


6. Be more active when you’re not exercising

Non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) is the energy it takes for you to do things that aren’t formal exercise (going to the gym or doing a workout video), eating, or sleeping. Bumping up the amount of energy you expend outside of formal exercise is one of the easiest ways to burn energy. 

You can:

  • Park farther from the grocery store entrance
  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Walk to get the mail instead of drive
  • Spend time gardening
  • Put a few things away during television commercials


7. Use an activity tracker

You might not be aware of how much you’re not moving until you take a look at your activity levels. Activity trackers count your steps and sometimes track your heart rate, elevation, and sleep. Some also include an app where you can track your food too. Set step goals, or watch yourself get in better shape as your resting heart rate decreases. 



8. Keep learning about diabetes 

Man at counter testing blood sugar.

Knowledge gives you power. Read the latest news about diabetes, and ask your doctor questions. Learning about diabetes also includes learning how it affects you as an individual. Your body is unique and may not respond as someone else with the same condition. 


9. Care for your skin as part of self-care

Skin care can easily be part of your daily self-care. Your skin can often be the first place to show diabetes-related complications. Perform daily skin checks, looking for dry patches, red spots, rashes, or anything else out of the ordinary. Keep your skin hydrated. VitalFit’s Day Moisturizer has antibacterial and antifungal ingredients that can prevent infections to which diabetes can make you more prone. At night, apply VitalFit Night Moisturizer while listening to relaxing music or an audiobook (Avoid applying Night Moisturizer in between toes).


10. Take time to relax

Older couple sitting on sofa looking at photo album.

Life easily gets busy and stressful. Stress can affect blood glucose. Before you’re in the throes of a stressful situation, learn how you relax best. Is it daily meditation, exercise, or listening to calming music? Some people zone out while playing video games or reading a book. Take the time to learn how you relieve stress so that when life gets busy, you know how to help manage your feelings. 



Diabetes requires more care and thought when it comes to your daily activities. However, you can be active and live well by consistently making choices that benefit your health. 

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