Every year, we promise ourselves that this year is the year things are going to be different. This year we’re going to lose that fifteen pounds. This year we’re going to spend more quality time with our family. This year we’re finally going to take that dream vacation to Aruba. Here at American Diabetes Wholesale, we want to encourage each of you to make 2008 the best year of your life. Take a look at these five popular New Year’s resolutions, and see how they can change your life – and improve your health.

  1. Get Fit / Lose Weight. Yep, it’s that age-old resolution that keeps rearing its ugly head. But for people with diabetes, losing weight and getting fit is about more than just looking good. Losing weight can prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes in at-risk patients. For people who already have diabetes, losing weight can lower blood sugar and blood pressure, improve the ratio of fats in your blood, and can make movement easier and more comfortable. Along with losing weight, exercise can help you control your blood sugar by burning the glucose in your body. Exercise gets your heart in shape and improves circulation, too—both important, since diabetes raises the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Make 2008 the year you finally win the Battle of the Bulge!
  2. Quit Smoking. No surprise there. Smoking increases your risk of heart disease and stroke, two conditions that people with diabetes are already at risk for. Smoking also raises blood glucose and blood pressure, increases cholesterol in the bloodstream, and damages the blood vessels, kidneys, and nerves.[1] If you don’t do anything else in 2008, stop smoking. It will add years to your life.
  3. Drink Less Alcohol. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with a drink every now and then. What would a wedding be without champagne, right? But if you have diabetes and you drink regularly, think about cutting back a bit this year. Alcohol can interfere with diabetic medications and may also raise your blood sugar—or cause it to drop drastically if you’ve consumed too much. This can happen when the liver stops producing glucose in order to filter the alcohol from your bloodstream.[2] For people with diabetes, men should drink no more than two drinks per day, while women should stick to just one.
  4. Enjoy Life / Reduce Stress. Easier said than done, right? If it was easy to reduce stress, we’d all do it. The truth is, it isn’t always easy to step back from the demands of work, family, and life in general. But to improve your health, you owe it to yourself to at least try. Sometimes it can be as simple as spending ten minutes alone in a quiet room, relaxing with headphones on in the middle of your workday. Start small; you might be surprised at how dedicating just a little quality time to your personal mental health can boost your overall attitude and energy level. Remember, if you don’t have energy yourself, you’ll have none to give to anyone else either, including the family members and friends you care about most. For people with diabetes, controlling stress can help you to avoid dangerous blood sugar swings, too. So next time you catch yourself “stress eating,” put down that junk food and hit the pavement for a quick walk instead—and get some fresh air and exercise in the bargain.
  5. Help Others. Nothing makes us realize how good we’ve got it more than helping other people in need. Even though the holidays are over, let’s not forget that “tis the season” can last all year long. Give what you can, whether it be time, money, or talent. Helping others can even be as simple as passing on your knowledge of diabetes prevention and care. Share what you know; it might just lead someone to choose a healthier lifestyle for 2008.

American Diabetes Wholesale wishes all our customers a Happy, and Healthy, New Year!

[1] http://www.diabetes.ca/Section_About/smoking.asp
[2] http://www.dlife.com/dLife/do/ShowContent/daily_living/diabetes_alcohol/