Tips for Teens with Diabetes

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Stay at a Healthy Weight. If you have diabetes and are overweight, weight loss may improve your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, and make your diabetes easier to manage. If your doctor says that you should not gain more weight or that you should lose weight, having some type of physical activity everyday and eating a balanced diet could make you feel better and more healthy.

Ask a dietitian or diabetes health educator to:

  • help you decide what kinds of activities might fit into your busy life as a teen 
  • help you and your family create a well-balanced meal plan and make healthy food choices 

Reaching and staying at a healthy weight while you are a teen can help you stay fit as you get older. It will also help you manage your diabetes.

Be Active. Being active is an important part of a healthy lifestyle, and taking care of your diabetes can help you stay fit, feel great, and give you more energy to have fun.

If you have not been very active in the past, start slowly. Try a few minutes each day. Do not get upset if you cannot do a lot or if you get out of breath at first—keep moving. Try to slowly work up to at least 60 minutes every day.

Before starting to be more active, it will probably be useful to talk to your doctor about the types of physical activity that might work best for you, so you can discuss important things, like making sure to check your blood glucose before the start and after the end of your activity and remembering to keep something handy during exercise to treat low blood glucose, such as fruit juice, glucose tablets, or a snack.

Gen 7 is a magazine that helps American Indian and Alaska Native teens prevent and manage diabetes. Or get help from the American Diabetes Association @ Awakening the Spirit.

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