Health Guide for Diabetes & Hypertension
One of the biggest factors that influences your quality of life is your daily nutrition. Swapping processed and junk foods for wholesome homemade meals can go a long way. The excessive salt, sugar, and trans-fats found in these food items contribute to obesity and are the leading cause of high blood pressure and diabetes.
So, instead of binging on fatty snacks like samosas, chips, and cookies, consider healthy snacking alternatives such as fruits, nuts, idli, and boiled eggs.
Proper nutrition is not only about eating right but also about eating your meals on time and controlling the portion size. Using smaller silverware can help in resisting the temptation to overeat.
In addition to this, you should also keep a check on your caffeine intake — do you really need a coffee or tea every few hours? Perhaps not.
Along with proper nutrition, regular exercise plays a big role in effectively managing diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Not everyone wants to be a gym buff and that is okay. The good news is you don't have to be one to be in good shape. A daily 20 minutes fun run, cycle ride, or a few laps of swimming are some solid ways to stay active.
If these cardio exercises don't interest you, just pick a sport you love, such as football or tennis, and make sure to enjoy it thoroughly every day. Not only will this help you to lose weight and look good, but feel good too.
Smoking is bad for everyone, and it's particularly risky if you have diabetes. The nicotine in cigarettes makes your blood vessels contract, hindering blood flow around your body. It stresses your heart and makes you more prone to a stroke or heart attack1.
Excessive drinking isn't so great either. While an occasional glass of wine is perfectly fine, binge drinking every other night is a big no-no.
Simply put, when it comes to bad habits like smoking and drinking, maybe it's time to call it quits for good.
Sleep plays a critical role in our physical and mental well-being. In fact, it's just as vital as eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly. And so, try to make it a priority to get sound sleep for 7-8 hours every night.
Experts link a lack of sleep with an altered hormone balance that can alter food intake and weight. It's common to compensate for a lack of sleep by binging on food to try to get energy through calories. So, as the amount of sleep decreases, blood sugar increases which can make your diabetes worse2.
It is important to keep in mind that not just the quantity but the quality of sleep is equally important — it should be deep and restful. For a better night's rest, ditch alcohol and electronic devices before bedtime while adhering to a routine of getting into bed on time.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Don't burn yourself out at work. Make sure to take sufficient time out of your busy schedule to indulge in your hobbies. Spend quality time with family and friends, or listen to your favorite music. In short, do something every day that makes you happy and relaxed.
This goes without saying, but going for periodic check-ups is essential to ensure your condition is under control.
If you take control of your diabetes or blood pressure by eating healthy food and living an active lifestyle, that is great! You'll surely have better control of your blood sugar levels and heart health. Still, regular health checkups and tests are a must.
These visits give you an opportunity to:
- Clarify questions and doubts with your healthcare provider
- Learn more about what you can do to keep your blood sugar within the target range
- See to it that you are taking your medicines correctly
If you have diabetes, make sure you periodically go for important tests such as the A1C test, cholesterol test, blood pressure checkup, and electrocardiogram. Of course, it's advisable to always consult your doctor before getting any tests done.
Diseases like diabetes and hypertension can be managed effectively if you acknowledge the simple fact that your lifestyle — food intake, exercise routine, amount of daily sleep and stress levels — play a pivotal role. While keeping all this in mind, it is also important to get yourself insured in case of any eventuality. Some insurers might charge you extra if you are already suffering from these diseases. But it is a little price to pay to ensure the financial security of your family.