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Diabetes and Self Care

Diabetes is a complicated disease, and one of the most necessary treatments is self-care. The responsibility for self-care for those with diabetes is a large one, and it is critical for their ongoing health and well being. For many people living with diabetes, self-care means eating well, taking the medication prescribed by their doctor, finding a supportive personal network, and being physically active.


Being physically active can mean many things, but what is most important is that you are active every day. For you, this might be a dance class, an aquafit class, an outdoor walk with friends, or going to the gym. In addition to managing your body composition, being physically active will lower your blood sugar, decrease your stress, help you sleep more soundly, and improve your cardiovascular function and muscle strength. 


Most importantly, the right physical activity will mean you are having fun and enjoying life! If you find it challenging to get out to exercise because of limited mobility or a lack of transportation, consider an at-home workout. Physix Gear offers resistance training gear, complete with an online video workout, a fitness routine that takes less than 20 minutes! Resistance bands and loops are versatile, easy to use, and an affordable option for adding exercise into your day. Talk to your health care team about becoming more active; most individuals with diabetes can enjoy light activities like walking safely and effectively.


Research suggests that compression socks can be worn safely and effectively, decrease calf and ankle circumference, and improve lower body circulation in people with diabetes. Orthotic insoles might make walking briskly far more comfortable, as they support your arch, even out your gait, and relieve heel and ball of foot pain. If your feet are happy, you are far more likely to get out for that walk. Taking good care of yourself means taking care of your body, and one sure way to be good to yourself is through self-massage. Try a muscle roller stick or massage ball to ease out muscle knots, improve circulation, and massage away muscle pain. Diabetes can sometimes cause nerve damage and poor blood flow to the lower legs and feet. Because of this, foot care is incredibly important if you have diabetes. Taking a daily walk is one way to improve your blood circulation. Gently rolling a massage ball under your feet will feel marvelous, ease pain, increase your ankle’s range of motion, and raise your awareness of any points of pain or numbness in your foot. If you discover any sores or places of reduced sensation, consult your health care team right away. If you have diabetes, you should be inspecting your feet daily. Experts suggest that some activities that are great for diabetic feet are walking, cycling, and swimming.

Living with diabetes comes with many challenges, and caring for yourself can be time-consuming and, at times, even overwhelming. Consider, though, that daily activity will not just help with the management of your diabetes. Regular exercise will help you lose weight, stay at a healthy weight, improve your mood, and help you sleep better! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that “physical activity is very important for people with diabetes.” Take control, find an activity that you love, and get at least twenty minutes of activity every day! 


Sources:


Diabetes Canada 


US National Library of Medicine, National Institute of Health


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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