I really did not know even the basics about my asthma. The Optimal Life DVDs and book gave me a clear, easy-to-understand picture so that I can take care of myself and stay away from the emergency room.
Amy S., California

Exercise

Cold weather workouts can be fun!  But whatever you do keep working out.  If you’re used to exercising outdoors, look for some indoor alternatives.  Maybe your local mall hosts walking/jogging groups indoors (check their website to find out).  Your local gym might seem more appealing than ever with a warm, climate-controlled environment. Maybe it’s time to check out that group exercise class you’ve had your eye on.  If you don’t mind the cold weather, take common sense precautions to protect yourself from the weather, including a scarf and gloves.

Healthy Eating

Healthy through the holidays! It’s an old saw by now, but watching what you eat through the holidays is a difficult but worthwhile effort.  Pick a few of your favorite holiday foods – eggnog?  stuffing?  mashed potatoes? – and eat them in sensible amounts.  Give thought to what you’re eating and really enjoy it.  If you can, add a few minutes to your workout to compensate for the extra food, but most of all enjoy the holidays.  They’re a very special time of year!

Diabetes

Cold weather means you need to take special care of your diabetes supplies.  Don’t let your medications freeze or otherwise expose them to extreme temperatures. Taking a day to go skiing or other fun winter sports?  Remember to test more often. Exercise can affect your glucose levels for several hours even after you stop working out.  And even though the holiday season is so much fun, it can mean family or financial tensions for some.  Take time to find your moment of zen every day, relax, and let go of the things that make you tense.  It good for you in many ways, but particularly as it relates to diabetes, as stress can play havoc with your glucose levels.  Enjoy the holidays and keep your commitment to good diabetes control!

Asthma

Cold temperatures outside present special problems for those with asthma. More time indoors usually means greater exposure to some of the most common asthma triggers, such as dust, animal dander, and seasonal triggers like fireplace ash. The cold outdoor air is also a known asthma trigger for many, so now is the time to tighten up your control.  Take your medications exactly as prescribed, no backsliding!  Wash your hands often, and wear a scarf over your mouth if you’re going to be outdoors (this helps warm the air going into your lungs). Do everything you can to prevent an asthma episode, as a trip to the ER is no way to spend the holidays.