Finding A Balance

Let’s face it: It’s not easy for anyone to maintain healthy eating habits and a regular fitness routine during the winter holiday season.

Schedules are packed with extra social commitments, holiday travel and gift shopping.

Parties (and party food) seem omnipresent — at the office, at your friends’ and families’ homes. Even the neighbors tend to drop by with a festive plate of delicious-looking iced cookies and gingerbread men.

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When you have diabetes, all that tempting food can make it especially challenging to keep blood glucose levels balanced, not to mention keeping off extra pounds. That’s why it’s especially important to stay active during this time of year, regardless of how difficult it may seem to do so.

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HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR HOW TO BALANCE THOSE LITTLE CALORIC SLIP-UPS WITH EXTRA CALORIE-BURNING ACTIVITIES:

Park further away from the mall when doing holiday shopping. It’s hard enough to find a spot close to the stores — save yourself the aggravation of searching and park further out. Wear comfortable shoes and use the extra steps to burn off a few extra calories.

Don’t have access to a stair machine? Use the stairs you have. Getting to and from the gym takes time, and nobody has time to spare during the holidays. Or maybe a gym membership isn’t in the budget. If you have stairs in your home, use them instead. If you’re easily bored, make the extra trips productive. Carry the laundry up and down, bring the groceries in one bag at a time, or just put on your favorite tunes and don’t stop stair climbing until you’ve heard at least a dozen songs.

Team Diabetes. Are you participating in your local 5k this weekend or training for your first triathlon? Then join Team Diabetes, and participate in an athletic event of your choice — a 5k, 10k, marathon or triathlon, for example — while helping to raise vital funds to support the mission of the American Diabetes Association. Start a team, join a team or participate as an individual.

Dance, dance, dance. Holiday parties can also mean dancing, and dancing counts as exercise. Get out there and shake off those calories while celebrating the season.

Crunch it out. If you have a soft carpet or yoga mat in your home, you have the ability to work your abs, legs and butt without leaving the house. Do crunches, push-ups, leg lifts and squats any time you have a spare 15 minutes.

Walk or bike whenever possible. Have a short errand to run nearby? Walk or ride a bicycle instead of driving. Yes, it takes longer. But it’ll also give you time to think and enjoy a little peace and quiet during a time of year when everything is rush, rush, rush.

Plan ahead. If you do have a gym membership, consider getting up a little early on days when you have a holiday party scheduled, to squeeze in a workout before starting your day. Knowing you’re likely to indulge a little later might be just the motivation you need to get moving now.