Your Fall To-Do List: Tune Up Your Diabetes Care

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Forget January—the early days of September are the time to focus on your goals and recommit to your health. The weather is getting cooler, the barometric pressure is thankfully rising and a certain crisp clarity has taken hold. The morning air beckons you like a siren song to throw off the laden slumbers of summer and leap into action with renewed vigor.

What a great time to recommit to your diabetes self-management plan. Is your A1C where you want it to be? How are your blood pressure and cholesterol levels? Have summer parties and barbecues taken their toil on your waistline? If everything is A-OK, than congratulations are in order. Pat your self on the back for a job well done and keep on trucking.

For the rest of you, a little back sliding is nothing to be ashamed of. But taking stock now can prevent your diabetes control from completely getting away from you.

If you haven’t been in to see your health care team for a while, perhaps a visit is in order. They can help you set priorities and give you suggestions on how to meet them.

In the meantime, try to tune-up your nutrition and physical activity plan.

Make a commitment to eat better now. Sweep out the cookies and chips and replace them with colorful fruits and vegetables. Use the plate method as a guide for portions and nutrition distribution. To do this, divide your plate in half and then divide one of the half’s in half again as in the animation below. Put all the fabulous greens of fall in half the plate and your favorite lean proteins and whole grain starches in the quarter divisions. Add a piece of fruit or a glass of milk or yogurt and you are good to go.

Start moving more. Aim for at least 30 minutes of physical activity each day. Use the cool evenings to talk a brisk walk after work or jump on your bike for an early Sunday ride. This one addition to your daily routine is down payment on a triple header— lowering your blood pressure, your cholesterol and your A1C.

And since you have started doing this, what better way to see the fruits of your labors than to check your blood glucose on a regular basis. Humans crave nothing more than positive reinforcement. Watching those numbers go down on your meter will catapult your enthusiasm for eating right and moving more right through the roof.

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