7 New Year’s Resolutions to Help Manage Diabetes in 2024
Wow! Time sure flies when you’re managing diabetes. Once again, we find ourselves saying goodbye to the holiday season and welcoming another new year. Hopefully, you can look back on 2023 confident that you did a pretty good job controlling your blood sugar and managing your diabetes. But even if you did manage to avoid spikes and dips and keep your blood glucose in the target range, it doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement, right?
Since many Americans are getting ready to make New Year’s resolutions that will very likely fall by the wayside, we thought we’d offer up a few for those living with diabetes that are definitely worth sticking with for a healthy and happy 2024. So, here are 7 New Year’s Resolutions to help you stay on top of your blood sugar, remain mentally sharp and motivated, and make 2024 another great year.
Take some time to assess your diabetes health
One of the best ways to kick off the new year successfully is to take a deep breath and examine your diabetes health. How did you do last year? Are there any areas of your diabetes management program where you feel like you could have done better? Did your diabetes physician provide some recommendations or instructions you might not have followed as closely as you would have liked? Do you feel in control of your disease at this point? Are you taking care of yourself mentally? Having fun? Enjoying life?
Understanding where you stand physically and emotionally as we head into 2024 will surely help you formulate a strategy for even better diabetes management in the new year.
Schedule your first medical check-up if you haven’t already
Hopefully, you’re seeing your diabetes physician on a regular basis. Still, one good resolution for 2024 is to kick the year off with a doctor’s visit and consultation. Maybe you’ll get an A1C test to launch the new year. Maybe you’ll formulate a reasonable and safe exercise and weight loss plan. Maybe you’ll talk about new oral medicines that might help you better control highs and lows. Regardless, you’ll start the year off by sitting down with your physician to discuss your diabetes management, knock out any tests you need, and get pointed in the right direction early on in 2024.
Make it a point to know your numbers
It’s easy for anyone living with diabetes to become preoccupied with daily blood sugar readings. We certainly need to keep track of them, but they’re not the only numbers we should know about people with diabetes (PWDs). Our disease is related to and can contribute to many other health factors, including heart disease. So, make it a point to track all your numbers – A1C, blood pressure, cholesterol, weight, and even logging your activity minutes- which can help you stick to a healthy diabetes management program.
Plan your meals in advance
It’s no secret that a proper diet plan is part of any good diabetes management program. It’s also no secret that life moves fast, and many of us are incredibly busy between work and family responsibilities. At times, a full schedule can lead us to opt for a quick bite or a grab-and-go dinner that might not be diabetes-friendly and can sometimes lead to overindulging.
To combat this, plan your meals. Go ahead and make a weekly meal calendar. Then, take a trip to the store to get all the necessary ingredients. You can even spend one free evening cooking and put many days’ worth of meals in the fridge or freezer for easy preparation on the run. Also, stock up on healthy snacks like crisp veggies and fresh berries. Planning meals probably won’t eliminate the occasional binge, but it makes it easier to maintain a healthier all-around diet.
Try the 150 minutes per week activity drill
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommends that people living with diabetes get in a minimum of 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity physical activity. If you’re currently inactive, this might sound pretty daunting. But let’s break it down. Tackling 150 minutes of exercise per week means committing to 30 minutes a day, five days a week, or 25 minutes a day for six days a week.
You can break it down however you like. The point is to put in the minutes to contribute to heart health, weight loss, and blood sugar control. Also, you don’t have to start by running a marathon. Ease into your new routine. Go for a brisk walk. Take a bike ride around the neighborhood. The point is to start small and work your way into more rigorous exercise gradually.
WARNING: If you have not exercised for an extended period, be sure to consult with your diabetes physician before beginning any activity regimen. Your doctor can help formulate a plan that’s safe for you.
Give meditation or yoga a try
A big part of a healthy diabetes management plan is staying in the right frame of mind. The daily responsibilities of measuring blood sugar, watching what you eat, and dealing with spikes and dips in blood glucose can be exhausting and, in specific individuals, lead to diabetes burnout – a condition in which frustration and anger end up impeding proper diabetes management.
Making time to care for yourself mentally and emotionally is an excellent resolution for 2024. You might try downloading a meditation app like Calm or Insight Timer. Give yoga or tai chi a try. Or find something you enjoy and can do regularly, providing a sense of peace – painting, music, writing, gardening, whatever floats your boat.
Recommit to your blood glucose testing schedule
If you weren’t diligent enough about testing blood sugar in 2023, the new year is a time to refocus and recommit to doing better. Even if you did a great job last year, it’s always good to consciously redouble your efforts. Diabetes is a self-managed disease, and whether you test with a glucose meter and test strips or a continuous glucose monitoring device (CGM), maintaining control over your diabetes starts with knowing what your blood sugar is measuring during the day. Tell yourself that 2024 will be the year of blood sugar control, and then go out there and make it happen.
Here's to a happy, healthy 2024!
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