The holidays can be tough if you have type 2 diabetes. Sticking to a well-balanced diet isn’t easy when tasty treats abound. Some people find it difficult to get enough physical activity when the weather or COVID-19 concerns keep them stuck inside. However, diet and exercise are vital to managing diabetes.
Health professionals say planning is the key to enjoying the holidays without putting your health at risk. We are sharing a few suggestions to help you get started.
Managing Type 2 Diabetes during the Holidays
With so many temptations, it takes more than self-control to manage diabetes. Here are a few ways you can adjust your daily routine to stay safe during the holiday season:
- Exercise in the morning.
This is a good strategy any time of year, but especially during the holidays. If you are busy shopping, wrapping gifts, and baking, you might be tempted to skip your work out. But as anyone with diabetes knows, exercise is an important part of maintaining your health.
Walking, riding a recumbent bike, and practicing yoga or Tai Chi can all be done in the comfort of your own home. Resistance bands are another inexpensive tool that can help you maintain muscles and core strength. “Exploring Senior-Friendly Forms of Exercise” has more fitness suggestions for older adults to explore.
- Monitor your health.
Most diabetics know it’s vital to continue checking their glucose as directed by their physician during the holidays. What some may skip is stepping on the scale. It’s easy for extra pounds to creep up when you are overindulging and not exercising as much. For adults with diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight is essential. Take time to weigh yourself weekly before a few pounds turn into more.
Also be sure to monitor your blood pressure as per your physician’s recommendations. Salty foods and alcoholic beverages often served at holiday parties can cause your blood pressure to spike.
- Plan your meals ahead of time.
No one wants to miss out on holiday goodies, but moderation is key. That’s why mapping out your food choices for the day and week ahead is important during the holiday season. If you know you’ll be attending a holiday luncheon on Wednesday, for example, eat a healthy breakfast and dinner that day.
If you blow your diet at one party or during one meal, don’t use it as an excuse to give up your healthy lifestyle. Instead, forgive yourself for slipping and get back on track at the next meal.
- Make smart choices at holiday parties.
While many people are limiting how many holiday gatherings they attend this year because of COVID-19 worries, you’ll still want to be careful. Though you can’t control the menu at holiday parties and events, you can be mindful of making better, healthier choices.
- You’ve probably heard this before, but it’s worth repeating. Try to fill up on healthy foods before a holiday event. A plate of fresh vegetables, apple slices topped with peanut butter, or a cup of yogurt can help prevent you from overindulging at your party.
- Skip alcoholic beverages and opt for water with lemon instead. If you want an alcoholic beverage, choose dry wine or light beer. Avoid drinks with sugary mixers.
- For food, opt for fresh fruit, vegetables, turkey, chicken, and nuts. Skip fried foods and those covered in dips or sauces. Limit sweet treats to just a bite or two of your favorites.
We hope these tips help you have an enjoyable and safe holiday season!
Heritage Communities Accommodate Special Diets
At Heritage Senior Communities, our dining services teams happily accommodate the special dietary needs of residents. It’s part of The Heritage Difference that makes our family-owned company a leading provider of senior living services for over four generations. Call the community nearest you to learn more today!