When you’re trying to manage your blood sugar levels, some habits are so helpful that they deserve a special place on your list. These things can make it easier to keep your blood sugar in check.
So how do you do that? The first step is understanding what causes spikes and dips in your blood sugar levels. Here are some habits that can help keep them stable throughout the day:
- Learn how to count carbohydrates. Your body uses carbohydrates as fuel, which means they have the biggest impact on your blood sugar levels. Cutting back on carbs is one of the best ways to stabilize blood sugar. You can learn more about counting carbohydrates in this article.
- Eating on a regular schedule. Skipping meals can lead to low blood sugar levels, which can trigger hunger and ultimately overeat later in the day. Try to eat at about the same time each day so that your body gets used to when it will be eating next.
- Monitor your blood sugar regularly. In order to manage your diabetes effectively, you need to know what your blood sugar level is and when it needs adjusting up or down. That means checking on a regular basis — at least four times a day if you’re taking insulin, or before each meal.
- Exercising regularly. Aim for 30 minutes of exercise most days of the week. If that sounds like too much, start with 10-minute bursts of activity several times a day and work up from there. Exercise is especially important if you take insulin or sulfonylureas — two types of oral diabetes medication — because it lowers blood sugar levels by improving your body’s ability to use insulin. Check with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine.
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products. Smoking and using tobacco can raise your risk for many health problems including type 2 diabetes.