By: Lifestyle Desk
Trending Desk
Last Updated: December 18, 2022, 16:39 IST
New Delhi, India
In extremely cold weather, it is essential for people with diabetes to keep their bodies warm. (Image: Shutterstock)
Dropping temperatures in the winter naturally bring about lifestyle and routine changes for most people. These changes can be in the time allotted to exercise, food cravings, and even blood sugar levels. You read that right. Cold weather affects the body’s systems and how they react to temperature changes. Some of the body’s responses can lead to blood sugar levels rising. Other factors, such as how the testing equipment works, can also show a spike in a diabetic’s regular tests.
The cold weather makes us slow and sluggish. We tend to want to stay indoors, in the comfort of our cosy blankets. That could negatively affect the amount of exercise one gets and promote sedentary habits – related to a spike in blood sugar levels. Another crucial factor is the strain that colder temperatures put on the body. Under stress, our body releases hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which in turn prompt the liver to release more glucose for energy.
In such a condition, the diabetes strip for testing blood sugar levels may not show accurate results. Following a few tips can help keep up with the physiological changes your body goes through during winter. These can help people with diabetes control blood sugar levels in cold weather.
1. Maintain a diet
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Replace your cup of hot chocolate with green tea or have hot vegetable soups in the evening. The trick is to find healthy alternatives to fill up your meals. Avoid intake of packaged and fried food and flavoured drinks. Plant-based foods are the way to go.
2. Stay physically active
Getting out of the warm and cosy room for exercise is important to maintain health and metabolism. Exercising and being active helps increase blood circulation. You can try yoga or climb the stairs a few times a day to maintain your metabolism.
3. Reduce stress
Apart from exercise, getting a healthy amount of sleep and practising mindfulness is essential to control stress. Physiological changes can significantly impact the way your brain signals your body to release certain hormones.
4. Warm up your body, especially watch your feet
In extremely cold weather, it is essential for people with diabetes to keep their bodies warm. If your hands are cold, you might not get a good blood sugar reading. Ensure that you sit in a place with a comfortable temperature when taking your reading.
5. Regularly check your blood sugar levels
Any change in weather impacts the diabetic body’s ability to create insulin. Track your eating habits and maintain a regular check on your sugar levels. During winter it’s common to feel hungry as our body uses more energy to keep us warm. Instead of having processed quick-fix foods, it is advisable to consume nutritious food.
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