Once again we find ourselves at the close of one year and the dawn of another. It seems like a natural time to reflect on where we've been this past year, and where we want to be in the next. For those of us who want to work on improving glucose control, here are four areas to focus on when making your New Year's resolutions for diabetes.
1. Get Fit
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people with diabetes engage in 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise five days a week. Integrating cardiovascular conditioning and strength training into your daily routine offers many significant benefits for your health, including better glucose control and stronger bones and muscles. Exercise also relieves stress and strengthens your heart, all while reducing your risk for heart disease.
So if you need to get more active, resolve to make fitness a priority in the new year, then choose your favorite way to get moving. Play basketball with your kids or tennis with your spouse, or join a dance fitness class at your local gym.
2. Keep on Top of Your Glucose
One of the most important things you can do when managing your diabetes is to establish how often and when you should test your blood sugar — and then stick to that routine.
Knowing your glucose level provides insight into your body's health. Your glucose level can tell you if you need a supplemental snack or extra units of insulin. It can also tell you how your body reacts to carbohydrate intake in the morning versus later in the day.
Fingerstick glucose meters are a common way to check your blood glucose, but new technologies are making it even easier for people to know and manage their levels. The FreeStyle™ Libre 14 day system, for example, is a continuous glucose monitoring system that does not require fingersticks1 and checks your glucose levels every minute. By simply swiping a reader near an sensor placed on the back of your upper arm, you can instantly get a glucose reading2. Not only will you get a current glucose level, but the sensor will also display a recent glucose history and a trend arrow that indicates where your glucose levels are heading, giving your reading context that a traditional blood glucose meter cannot.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also recently approved FreeStyle LibreLink, an app that allows you to check your glucose levels with your iPhone3 (iPhone 7 and later, running iOS 11 and later), making diabetes management even more convenient.
Consider making a New Year's resolution to improve your glucose management by checking your levels more regularly — a resolution that'll be easy to cross off thanks to this new technology.
3. Have a (Meal) Plan for Success
If you're looking to start a new eating plan in the new year, you're certainly not alone. But an important part of sticking to that plan is having a strategy in place — one that prevents last-minute trips to the drive-thru.
Take a few minutes each week to make an eating plan to help manage your diabetes. Write out grocery lists and shop for healthy ingredients to create nutritious meals that you're excited to make. This may be a struggle at first, but with time, it will become a healthy habit that can significantly improve your glucose levels.
It's always good to have nutritious options when you're on the go, as well. For example, Glucerna® Hunger Smart® Shake is a meal or snack replacement that can help manage blood sugar and hunger, which can help keep your New Year's resolutions for diabetes on track.
Know, too, that it's OK to deviate from your eating plan from time to time. When you do go out for a night on the town, a few simple tips for eating out with diabetes can keep you on target.
4. Know Your Numbers
Another great New Year's resolution for diabetes is lowering your hemoglobin A1C. This number tells you your average blood glucose level across the previous three months. Lowering this number is one of the ways that you and your doctors know that you are keeping your diabetes well managed.
FreeStyle Libre system provides users and their doctors with an Ambulatory Glucose Profile (AGP), a report providing a visual snapshot of a typical day by utilizing sensor glucose data to reveal hypoglycemic and hyperglycemic trends. With this profile, the AGP can make your resolution around managing your glucose levels and track your progress throughout the year — not just at your doctor's office.
When people have access to clear information, it can help guide them to better health.
And because most resolutions are easier to keep when you share your progress with others, there's also LibreView, a cloud-based diabetes management application that lets you share your glucose results with your loved ones and your diabetes management team.
What better time than the new year to renew your focus on improving glucose control and overall health? With the right tools, technology and support, you can easily achieve your New Year's resolutions for diabetes and set your sights on having the best year ever.
1A finger prick test using a blood glucose meter is required during times of rapidly changing glucose levels when interstitial fluid glucose levels may not accurately reflect blood glucose levels or if hypoglycemia or impending hypoglycemia is reported by the system or when symptoms do not match the system readings.
2Fingersticks are required for treatment decisions when you see Check Blood Glucose symbol, when symptoms do not match system readings, when you suspect readings may be inaccurate, or when you experience symptoms that may be due to high or low blood glucose.
3The FreeStyle LibreLink app is compatible with NFC enabled phones on Apple's iPhone 7 and later, running iOS 11 and later.