Diabetics, these two simple expert-approved habits can help you manage blood sugar levels

Following certain lifestyle and diet habits are essential to managing diabetes. But what if we told you that doing just two simple things daily can make a huge difference? If you are wondering what they are, keep reading.

Engaging in regular physical activity has numerous benefits for diabetics. “Exercise helps to improve insulin sensitivity, which means your body can utilise insulin more effectively. It also aids in weight management, reduces the risk of heart disease, and boosts overall well-being,” said Dr Rajiv Kovil, head of diabetology, Zandra Healthcare and co-founder, Rang De Neela initiative.

Aim for at least 30-45 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise at least 5 days of week. “7 days is always better…This could include brisk walking, cycling, swimming, or even dancing,” said Dr Joozer Rangwala, consultant physician diabetologist, Narayana Hospital, Ahmedabad.

Consider incorporating the following activities into your routine

– Aerobic exercises: Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise per week, spread over several days, shared Dr Kovil.

– Strength training: Do resistance exercises two to three times per week. “This can include lifting weights, using resistance bands, or performing bodyweight exercises like push-ups and squats. Strength training helps improve muscle strength, metabolism, and overall blood sugar control,” mentioned Dr Kovil.

– Flexibility and balance exercises: Practices like yoga, Pilates, or tai chi can help enhance flexibility, balance, and core strength, reducing the risk of falls and promoting overall mobility.

Always consult with your healthcare provider before starting any exercise regimen, especially if you have existing health conditions or complications related to diabetes, urged Dr Kovil.

Is your diet wholesome? (Source: Getty Images/Thinkstock)

Mindful and healthy eating

Eating a balanced diet is essential for managing diabetes. Experts stress that one should focus on incorporating plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into their meals. “Limit foods high in refined carbohydrates, added sugars, and unhealthy fats. Instead, choose nutrient-dense foods that provide sustained energy and help control blood sugar levels,” said Dr Rangwala.

Consider working with a registered dietitian to create a personalised meal plan tailored to your dietary needs and preferences. “Also, try to eat regular, evenly spaced meals and snacks throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels stable. Avoid excess eating when the food is tasty and palatable,” added Dr Rangwala.

Adopting mindful eating habits can greatly benefit individuals with diabetes by promoting healthy eating patterns and better blood sugar control.

Here are some tips to help you develop mindful eating habits

– Portion control: Be mindful of portion sizes and avoid overeating. Use measuring cups or a food scale to accurately portion your meals.

– Read food labels: Pay attention to food labels and choose products low in added sugars, saturated fats, and sodium, mentioned Dr Kovil.

– Balanced meals: Incorporate a variety of nutrient-rich foods into your meals, including lean proteins, whole grains, healthy fats, and plenty of vegetables. Aim to create balanced meals that include a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats.

– Slow down and enjoy: Take your time to savor each bite, paying attention to the flavours and textures of your food. Eating more slowly can help you recognize when you are full and prevent overeating, stressed Dr Kovil.

Remember, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing diabetes requires individualised strategies. “Consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian for personalised advice tailored to your specific needs,” said Dr Kovil.


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