While living with diabetes can be challenging even in normal circumstances, the enhanced stress and unique difficulties that accompany traveling — not to mention volunteering while traveling — can exacerbate it. In turn, this can make it more important than ever to make sure that you are doing everything you need to improve your health.
The key here is that you need to start planning for your travels well before you plan to actually travel. Think of it like trying to run a race: it is not a good idea to just show up at the starting line on race day. Instead, you must train first. Similarly, you need to take steps to ensure that your diabetes will not get in the way of travel or volunteering opportunities.
Make a Written Commitment
While it may sound silly to write a commitment to yourself, it’s nonetheless a very effective way to trick your subconscious into understanding that you are serious about your plans. This commitment should ideally be as specific and detailed as possible. Don’t just write down on a slip of paper, “I will travel and volunteer, so I promise to control my diabetes.” That won’t help very much at all.
You need to write where you want to travel and how you want to volunteer, as this will help build a mental image and increase motivation. You then will want to list specific steps you will take, how often you will take them, and how you will track them. This step is very important as it will help you hold yourself accountable at the same time as it will provide you with a specific roadmap that you need to follow.
You have likely heard it already at least a million times, but smoking — especially when you have diabetes — is terrible for you. It makes your risk of heart disease, stroke, nerve damage, kidney failure, and a bevy of other terrible maladies go through the roof. If you smoke, the time to stop is not just before you travel. Instead, you should work on these well before you start your travels.
Train for the “race” and be sure to stop smoking several months before the trip. This will not only increase your health, but it will also make it easier to resist the urge to start smoking again when confronted with the stress of your new environment and new duties.
Know Where You Stand
You need to know as much about your health as you possibly can. Knowledge is power, and it is important to track where you are now so that you can see how things have changed. An HbA1c blood test can give you a good idea of how you have been doing over the last three months as a whole, so it is a great way to take a longer-range snapshot.
You should get a reading at least twice a year, but the more often, the better. The same is true for general physicals and eye exams. In the case of the physical, your doctor can help you to understand more details about how you are doing and give you advice moving forward. For example, if your Type 2 diabetes was brought on due to obesity and unhealthy eating you doctor may talk to you about medical weight loss, which can be assisted by gastric sleeve surgery Newcastle, to help treat the disease. An eye exam is especially important for people dealing with type 2 diabetes because of the added risk of cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy.
Get More Exercise
Aside from the many benefits to your cardiovascular and musculoskeletal health that exercise provides, engaging in it regularly is especially important for people with diabetes. This is because it beneficially impacts your insulin resistance. It moves glucose to your muscles, where it is burned for energy, and it can help improve your insulin sensitivity.
It is worth noting here that you do not need to be able to run a marathon or bench press your body weight to be healthy enough to travel and volunteer. If you begin with simply walking an extra fifteen minutes a day, you will start to see benefits. Remember to start exercising well before you plan to travel. That way, you have time to build up to as advanced a level of fitness as possible before you step on the plane.
Type 2 diabetes does not have to keep you from following your dreams. Traveling and volunteering are well within your reach if you plan ahead and set your mind to achieving your goals. Take the time to do your research, meet with your healthcare providers, and develop the healthy body and healthy habits that you will need to make your wanderlust dreams a reality.