Most of us have started the new year with resolutions and the best intentions. So many of us want to become healthier, exercise more and eat better. Often we start off really strong, but by week two or three there can be a slight struggle; then in a couple of months we’ve lost momentum. You may now feel that you aren’t able to kick-start back into the healthy habits you were anticipating. But what does that mean for your diabetes?
New year goals can be a great way to start getting back into the rhythm of movement and a healthier lifestyle – but don’t beat yourself up if you experience set-backs along the way. Recharge, be inspired, and continue with achieving your goal.
Good reasons to keep moving
We all know exercise is good for us, but those of us living with type 2 diabetes or are at risk of developing diabetes, regular movement is very important. Understanding these benefits can really sustain our motivation. Movement and exercise improves your insulin, helps you maintain a healthy weight, improves blood pressure and decreases the risk of heart disease. There is also the added benefit of reducing our stress levels and looking after our mental health (Diabetes Australia, 2021). What exercise can you incorporate into your daily life that is sustainable? Can you also safely add movement to everyday tasks e.g. take the stairs, return the trolley.
Farewell fad diets
Your healthy eating choices are just as important as being active. Eating healthier helps with weight management and ultimately managing your blood glucose levels. The great thing about a consistent, healthy diet is you do not have to put yourself through the pain of fad diets and extreme meal plans. That makes life in the kitchen easier – forget making vastly different meals for you and your family. A dietitian can advise on what to prepare to ensure your nutritional needs are met (Diabetes Australia, 2001).
Let’s get organised and build a routine
Set yourself up to succeed – do you have appointments you need to book in? These are just as important as maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Do you need to visit with your diabetes educator or GP? When was the last time you saw your podiatrist to check your feet? What happened to that gym membership you took out last year? Or if the gym is not your jam, have you thought about walking groups in your local area or asking a family member or friend to join you on a regular stroll? Perhaps a morning walk by yourself might be a great way to start the day with a clear mind. Find something you enjoy doing and making it a regular routine.
You do not need to tackle your goals alone. What networks can you access to support your journey? Try getting out there and meeting others through social groups in your community. Besides developing a social network, you may also want to talk to a social worker or psychologist about your goals and challenges. Reach out and ask for help.
Logan Healthy Living is here to help you make 2022 the year you succeed in making changes to your diabetes management and improving your quality of life. But remember: change starts with you!
Diabetes Australia (2021). Food and activity. Exercise. https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/food-activity/exercise/
Diabetes Australia (2021). Food and activity. Eating well. https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/food-activity/eating-well/