Healthy Living NT

The Best Way to self manage cardiac and diabetes modifiable risk factors?

27/05/2015 Education Team

Common cardiac and diabetes risk factors you have the power to change:

  1. Physical activity: Exercise 30 minutes every day. Choose an activity you enjoy doing because motivation can become quite a challenge in the long run.
  2. What you eat: Eat a balanced diet and understand how food contributes to your health. See a dietitian for further advice and support
  3. Weight: If you are overweight or obese, achieving even a small weight loss can have a significant positive effect on the management of your chronic disease.
  4. Manage cholesterol: Keep cholesterol low by exercising, eating less saturated fat and for some, take medication as recommended by your doctor.
  5. Stress: Recognise stress and talk to your doctor about strategies to manage it.
  6. Regular check ups: See your doctor regularly for a blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes and kidney health check-up as recommended.

Think about any change you want to make using the SMART* model

S = Specific
Is the change concrete and definable? i.e. “I will” as opposed to “maybe”:>> I will exercise.
M = Measurable
Can you actually measure this – what would you measure; how would you show when you have achieved it? >> I will walk thirty minutes every day.
A = Achievable
Is this change actually realistic and achievable in this time and place? >> I am able to do this after work because I have the time and I have no mobility problems or motivational issues. (If the latter are issues, see your educator for some help).
R =Relevant
Is this change relevant? >> Exercise is one of my main diabetes and cardiac risk factors which I need to modify.
T =Timeframe

When will this change be achieved? >> Exercise every day for 30 minutes for six months at least, to start with.
For self management to work, you have to be committed to want to change Making positive behaviour changes and maintaining them in the long run is quite difficult. Your doctor and educators are there to support you, so make use of them.

*Ref: Monash University, Flinders University (2012)


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