Elevated levels of blood sugar or diabetes can cause many health problems, and if left untreated, they can affect the body’s key organs – heart, kidney, liver – that can even turn fatal. Dr Harish Kumar, Clinical Professor, and Head, the Centre for Endocrinology and Diabetes, Amrita Hospital, Kochi, shares, “The first thing to remember, about controlling diabetes, is that you must maintain your lifestyle properly. So, a healthy lifestyle is a must. Now, a healthy lifestyle has three components – the first component is diet, the second is exercise and the third is stress management.”
Manage your diabetes: Control 3 aspects of life
Dr Kumar tells how these three aspects of lifestyle can be regulated to control diabetes
Modify your diet
1) A relatively low-calorie diet, as prescribed by your doctor or dietician, is recommended for diabetes.
2) Ensure that you have more fruits and vegetables in your diet. There are some fruits that you can eat safely when you have diabetes. Some others should not be eaten by patients with diabetes, because they may shoot the blood sugar up. Click HERE to check the list of 7 fruits with low gylcemic index that diabetics can eat.
Do regular exercise
1) Apart from taking care of the diet, another very important component to keep your blood sugar under control, is to do regular exercise.
2) It is generally advised that you do 40-45 minutes of brisk aerobic exercise – if possible daily, or at least about five times a week. Now, aerobic exercise means that it would be jogging, walking fast, swimming, and playing games like shuttlecock, tennis, and basketball.
3) For patients who are older, simply a brisk walk for 40-45 minutes will serve the purpose.
4) Even if you are unable to or don’t have the time to do brisk walking for 40-45 minutes at a stretch, then people – especially people busy in the office – should ensure a 10-12 minutes casual walk after each meal. Recent evidence has shown that this also tends to reduce blood sugar overall.
Manage your stress
People may not pay much attention to this, but controlling stress is an important component of lifestyle management because whenever you get stressed, your blood sugar and blood pressure tend to rise. It’s therefore very essential to learn to deal with stress. It’s not possible to eliminate stress from our lives, but what we CAN do is learn how to manage stress. Yoga and meditation techniques will actually help us to reduce the stress levels in our reactions to various life situations.
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