A well-known author Sean Covey once wrote, "Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do."
We are creatures of habit, some are healthy habits and some are unhealthy habits. People become successful in something because of the power of their habits.
Routines allow our habits to repeat daily. When dealing with healthy habits, routines are invaluable. A person who gets in the habit of following a specific routine each day that supports health will experience positive results over time.
Diabetes healthy habits routines help to control blood glucose and decrease the incidence of unwanted complications. The first step in establishing a routine of healthy habits is to make a list of things that needs to be accomplish. Put priorities on the things on the list with the most important on the top of the list.
Here is an example of habits a person dealing with diabetes may have on a morning routine list:
After using the restroom, wash hands and test blood sugar. A high number may require an insulin adjustment if necessary or a low number may be compensated with a different type of breakfast.
Massage and /or check feet. Blood flow may be compromised in feet. A great daily habit is to take the time to massage both feet and check for any sensation loss, open areas, blisters or callouses. This will aid in deciding which shoes to wear all day.
Drinking a large glass of water is a healthy habit for everyone, especially people dealing with diabetes. Elevated blood sugars overnight may be a sign of dehydration. So even before breakfast or a morning coffee, drink a glass of water, even with lemon in it, to make sure hydration is in check. Anyone taking a blood pressure medication that has a diuretic effect definitely needs water in the morning.
Morning medications taken at the same time of day causes more predictable blood glucose results. A consistent schedule is a healthy habit when it comes to medications. It can be annoying at first to do things by the clock, but eventually this will result in less effort as a habit is formed.
Early morning exercise will not only wake a person up, but if the day becomes too busy or tiring at least exercise is already accomplished. The exercise habit is priceless for people with diabetes.
Eat a similar breakfast each morning. This aids blood sugar consistency. Starting the day off with enough energy can mean a day of healthy blood sugars, whereas starting the day off with unpredictable blood sugars can take all day to recover from and affect a person all day.
Write a short to-do list. While eating breakfast write down a plan for the day. Start with a short list. A sense of accomplishment will aid in following the routine.
A few consistent healthy habits each morning are better than none. Maintain routines that support a healthy life. Thrive.
Bobbie Randall is a Certified Diabetes Educator, Registered, Licensed Dietitian. She supervises a Diabetes Self-Management Training Program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org (330-684-4776).