Better diabetes management in the summer
Get out there and enjoy your summer without diabetes holding you back by following these simple tips.
June 22, 2014 - Author: Ashley Parrish, Michigan State University Extension
Are you looking for an excuse to go out and enjoy the beautiful summer weather? Below are ideas to take advantage of during the summer months to help with diabetes management.
Have you ever checked out the local farmers market? Take advantage of the fresh produce in the area. Many farmers markets start in the spring and early summer and have lots of colorful vegetables and fruits to offer. Fruits and vegetables contain fiber, vitamins and minerals which all provide beneficial nutrients to help manage diabetes. Fiber helps the body stabilize blood sugar by reducing spikes and dips, so make sure half your plate consists of vegetables and fruit at each meal. For more information on making half your plate fruits and vegetables visit http://www.choosemyplate.gov.
Be active! Enjoy the summer with a brisk walk or other favorite outdoor activities. There are many valuable benefits that can be experienced when physical activity is a part of your daily life. Physical activity increases insulin sensitivity, which helps the body use glucose (sugar) as energy more efficiently. Physical activity also burns energy (calories), making weight management easier. Being physically active helps reduce the risk of heart disease and high blood pressure, which are both linked to diabetes. Be sure to talk with a doctor before starting any kind of physical activity plan.
Use the warm summertime air to experiment with gardening in your yard or in local community gardens. Gardening combines healthy eating and physical activity and provides many other health benefits. There are many benefits of gardening that Michigan State University Extension supports. Gardening is good for the mind; it provides a break from daily stresses. Mental and emotional health is very important for everyone, especially for those dealing with the daily stresses of managing diabetes. In conjunction with an overall active lifestyle, maintaining a garden requires physical activity, which is good for maintaining and building muscle mass, promotes a healthy cardiovascular system, and maintains healthy bones for preventing osteoporosis. Diabetes can affect many systems throughout the body, so it is important to keep them all healthy through a variety of activities. In addition to mental and physical benefits, gardening can also provide social activity and a chance to engage with friends, family and others in the community.
Go find the activity of your choice this summer and look forward to improved health!