Five Benefits of Exercise If You Have Type 2 Diabetes


Type Two Diabetes, or non-insulin dependent diabetes, affects millions of Americans and can lead to damage of body organs, including eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and blood vessels. Fortunately, the disease can be managed and almost cured with proper changes in diet and exercise.

Let’s talk about one of those—the benefits of exercise if you have Type 2 Diabetes.

Of course, before beginning an exercise program, if you do have Diabetes, you should complete a medical evaluation to assess your glycemic control and to screen for any complication that may be made worse by exercise.

And with that go-ahead from your doctor, if you are looking for ideas about exercise and how to get started, check out these tips.

And here are gains you stand to make against Type 2 Diabetes by incorporating exercise into your lifestyle:

1. Improve insulin sensitivity

This means that the insulin that your body produces works better when you exercise, making your diabetes more manageable.
 

2. Lower your blood sugar

Exercise uses glucose, therefore lowering the amount that is in your blood. It will be important to monitor your glucose levels before during and after exercise as you work to control your diabetes. You can record your blood sugar levels by using the ImagineCare app, ensuring that you have a record to see your progress over time and can share it with your care providers.
 

3. Lose Weight!

Almost everyone wants to lose a little bit of weight, but few can benefit more than someone who is overweight and living with Type 2 Diabetes. Luckily, weight loss is a nice side-effect of exercise, so choose a form of exercise that you really enjoy (e.g. walking or skiing) and get moving!
 

4. Control your blood pressure

It is quite common for folks with Diabetes to also have high blood pressure. Getting the recommended amount of weekly exercise (150 minutes of easy to moderate intensity, or 75 minutes of high intensity) can help reduce blood pressure.
 

5. Increase your energy and improve sleep

Exercise is really quite invigorating, and people who do it consistently tend to feel more energized AND sleep better, which can only help to improve outcomes of someone living with Diabetes.


If you wish to speak with one of our excellent Registered Nurses here at ImagineCare, we are here 24/7 at 844-346-2446. We can discuss your condition in depth with you and work to make a plan with your provider.

~Marco

Marco Day, an ImagineCare Health Navigator, is a Certified Personal Trainer and Movement Training Specialist. Prior to joining ImagineCare, he worked with clients at River Valley Club in Lebanon, NH, on exercise program design and prescription, weight-loss corrective exercise prescription, and personal training. He loves any opportunity to help people make positive health changes.

Stress-Busters for Surviving the Holiday Season


The holidays can be an exciting time filled with fun, family, and friends, but for many, it can also be stressful. Some common signs of stress include muscle tension, racing heart, trouble sleeping, headaches, irritation, and trouble concentrating. So what can you do if you’re feeling stressed during the holidays (or any other time of the year)? Here are some tips to keep your days merry and bright:

  • Be Mindful: Pay attention to how you’re feeling. Sometimes we ignore our stress until it overwhelms us. Instead, notice when you’re feeling stressed and try to manage it earlier.
     
  • Exercise: If you already have a physical fitness routine, stick to it, and if not, it’s never too late to start! Try going for walks or participating in other physical activities you enjoy (remember: always consult with your doctor before starting a new exercise routine).
     
  • Eat Smart: Try to eat a well-balanced diet and avoid skipping meals. Avoid using alcohol and/or other drugs to reduce your stress.
     
  • Sleep: Try to maintain a consistent sleep routine. Try to avoid sleeping too much or too little.
     
  • Relax: Practice deep-breathing and relaxation techniques to help manage your stress. Start by deeply inhaling for three seconds and then completely exhaling for three seconds. To relax your muscles, continue your deep breathing; then, start at the top of your head and work your way down to your toes, picturing the tension slowly leaving each section of your body. Repeat these steps until you feel less tense and more relaxed.
     
  • Set Priorities and Plan Ahead: It’s impossible to do everything and be everywhere, so decide which obligations are the most important and plan for those. Set realistic expectations for what you can do and leave yourself ample time to accomplish tasks and meet your holiday goals.
     
  • Seek Support: Sometimes talking about your feelings can help relieve some of the pressure and make things feel more manageable. Seek out a trusted friend or family member, or consult with a trained counselor (he or she may be able to help you figure out how best to manage your specific stressors).
     
  • Have Fun: Make time for fun activities – participate in your favorite hobbies or get involved with local community groups.
     
  • Take a Break: Take a time-out if you start to feel overwhelmed, and recharge by doing a different activity or taking a deep breath. Come back to the original task once you’ve had a moment to regroup.

~Shelby

Shelby Bohn is the Customer Experience Director at ImagineCare. She began her career in the field of psychology and earned an MA in Clinical Psychology in 2010. Prior to ImagineCare, she worked as a mental health counselor, and later in customer relations in the hospitality industry. Shelby is trying to take her own advice and set priorities this holiday season!

Five Things You Need to Know to Lose Weight


Losing weight is often difficult to do, especially if you have tried in the past, maybe even shed a few pounds, but failed to keep the weight off. This feeling of failure makes it even harder to build up the motivation to give it another go.

I am here to quell some myths about weight loss, and to empower you with the knowledge you need to lose weight healthfully—and to keep it off!

Here are 5 things you need to know to lose weight:


1. Calories in, calories out.

For the most part, the only way to lose weight is to consume fewer calories than you burn from exercise, daily life, sleep, and the thermic effects of food (i.e. calories burned while digesting). If you consume 500 calories less than you burn every day for a week, you will lose one pound. If this sounds difficult or confusing, here’s a way to make it easy: Your Microsoft Band will accurately estimate the number of calories you burn throughout a day, so all you have to do is track the calories you consume. And there are great apps for tracking calorie consumption, such as “Lose It” and “MyFitnessPal.” And, really, all you have to remember is to eat 500 fewer calories than you burn!

 
2. Exercise is your friend.

While not necessary to lose weight, exercise will make your body burn more calories and therefore speed up the process. It’s just that simple. Check out my tips on how to get started with an exercise routine. There are also numerous other health benefits associated with exercise, including reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, and it increases bone and muscle strength.


3. Watch what you put on your plate.

There is no one-size-fits-all meal plan for every person, and we all have different dietary needs, based on age, sex, cultural/religious beliefs, activity level, and health history. But here are some tips that everyone can adopt as positive eating habits:

  • Choose foods and beverages with less saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars.
  • Eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, dairy (unless otherwise specified by a dietician), and oils.
  • Make sure to monitor portion size and track calories using a food diary or an app like "Lose It."
  • For more information about how to balance your meal plan, go to https://www.choosemyplate.gov/

 
4. Drinking your calories is a no-no!

This may be a tough one for a lot of us. Drinking sugary drinks like soda, Gatorade, and sweet tea is a quick way to consume too many calories! In fact, did you know that one 20-oz. bottle of soda contains your maximum recommended sugar intake for 2.6 days?! Stick to water, low-fat milk, and coffee and tea without sugar to achieve fluid balance.

 
5. Don’t stress about it.

Don’t try to do it all in the first day. Make incrementally healthy changes every week, and over time you will gain confidence and your hard work will begin to pay off.

~Marco

Marco Day, an ImagineCare Health Navigator, is a Certified Personal Trainer and Movement Training Specialist. Prior to joining ImagineCare, he worked with clients at River Valley Club in Lebanon, NH, on exercise program design and prescription, weight-loss corrective exercise prescription, and personal training. He loves any opportunity to help people make positive health changes.