Food for Thought Column: Lifestyle changes for a healthy winter season

(NC) As the weather cools down and we pull on the layers, many of us find it harder to fit physical activity into our lifestyle. Staying active even during hibernation season is important for everyone, especially if you have a health condition.

Fortunately, you don’t need to brave the cold weather in order to squeeze some exercise into your daily routine. Try incorporating these tips to reap the rewards in the long term.

Exercise at home. There are many workout videos on the internet with intensities that you can tailor to your comfort level. Even better, find a partner to increase your chances of sticking to your commitment.

Eat nutritious food. It’s always too easy to reach for comfort foods that may not be as healthy. Remember to eat at regular times throughout the day, plan healthy snacks and incorporate high-fibre foods.

Manage chronic conditions. Though it may be difficult for people with health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, to manage many aspects of their disease, it’s important to stay on top of diet, exercise, blood sugar monitoring and any medications.

“Lifestyle management is integral to managing chronic conditions like type 2 diabetes,” says Dr. Diane Zatelny, endocrinologist. “Optimal management of diabetes usually also includes medications. Ask your doctor about treatment options that may be very convenient to fit into your routine, such as once-weekly medications. They are available in easy-to-use pens and help the body release more of its own insulin, a hormone which many people with type 2 diabetes do not produce enough of.”

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