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4 Useful Tips for Living a Normal Life with Diabetes

4 Useful Tips for Living a Normal Life with Diabetes

Recent reports from the Center for Disease Control estimate that about 10% of the U.S. population suffers from diabetes. That virtually guarantees that everyone has at least one close friend or family member that is affected.

One of the hardest things about having diabetes is having to make dramatic changes to your lifestyle. Many people do not realize the many significant changes that being a diabetic can force someone to make in their life.

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Fortunately, as more and more research comes out about diabetes then more and more solutions also come out to help those suffering from diabetes to live normal lives. Here are five useful tips for those struggling to live the same life they lived before being diagnosed with diabetes.

Change your footwear

You may have noticed that as your diabetes got worse, your feet also started to lose their feeling. You may even have had a few injuries that you didn’t even notice because you couldn’t feel them. Other diabetics notice that they suddenly get cankles and the simple act of walking hurts.

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In recent years it has become a popular trend to actually build socks specifically for people with diabetes. These socks tend to be better cushioned and put less restriction on the blood flow to the feet. You can read up on why changing socks can help and how to find the right diabetic socks here.

Eat fiber

Eating more fiber may be one of simplest and most unknown ways to help control your blood sugar. Most experts recommend somewhere between 25 and 35 grams of fiber each day,[1] but unfortunately most people rarely come close to that. If you have ever eaten a box of Cheerios then you have likely seen the many claims they make about the benefits of fiber. Many of these are quite true. Fiber has the potential to work miracles on the body and has been associated with weight loss.

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Shower less

Yes, this is one of the only situations where one might be advised to shower less. One of the most common and unfortunate effects of diabetes is itchy skin. As a diabetic, you have high blood sugar, which means your body fluid levels are almost always lower than they should be. This means that your skin will tend to feel dry and itchy. If that is the case, it is relatively easy to relieve the symptoms by purchasing the right kind of moisturizer as well as cutting down on the showers.

Another symptom is that you will sweat less, meaning you probably will not need to be showering as much as you used to. So try cutting the showers to once every other day instead of every day.

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Stock up on treats you can eat

Most diabetics report that the hardest part about finding out that they had diabetes was having to make significant dietary changes in order to keep their blood sugar stable. Many diabetics became diabetic because of their love for sweets, and they are suddenly expected to turn away from these sweets forever. It can be depressing and incredibly hard to do.

Fortunately, many stores now have entire sections of treats that are made specifically for people with diabetes. These treats use alternative sugars and fruits to sweeten foods without overly affecting blood sugar. While they do tend to be a little more expensive, if you keep some of these on hand for when that sweet tooth kicks in, they can do a lot to help keep your chin up. Here are a few good snack options if this appeals to you.

Diabetes is tough; there is no doubt about it. However, life will continue to get easier as we better understand diabetes and as technology comes out to alleviate many of the worst symptoms.

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Spencer Mecham

Personal Finance Coach, Digital Marketer

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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