Take Control of Your Diabetes Even on Vacation

Pack these practical diabetes self-care tips with your suitcase while you enjoy summer travel and vacation.

Summertime travel is a fun break in daily routine, but it also can hijack healthful habits. These tips will help you maintain your momentum toward your weight and diabetes management goals:

1. Stay close to the action.

If you're staying at a hotel, choose one that has exercise facilities. Check out the gym area as soon as you arrive so you can establish the get-moving mind-set. If your lodging lacks a workout area, inquire about safe walking routes or local gyms that sell day passes. If you're visiting friends or relatives, invite them to join you for some quality time exercising together.

2. Pack like you mean it.

Tuck in your exercise clothes -- no excuses! Include resistance bands, which you can use nearly anywhere. Resistance exercises build muscle, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels, especially after meals.

3. Start each day right.

Starting your day with physical activity will help you wake up and won't interfere with the rest of your plans. To help you get moving, sleep in your exercise clothes and set out your shoes and socks.

4. Bring healthful food.

Treat each travel day as if there will be no place to buy food. Pack a cooler with a sandwich made with high-fiber bread, nut butter, and fruit spread; fresh fruit; string cheese sticks; bags of ready-to-eat baby carrots; and drink containers filled with water or antioxidant-rich black or green tea. Bonus: You'll save money for souvenirs by avoiding fast food and takeout!

Janice Baker, a registered dietitian and certified diabetes educator in San Diego, has worked extensively with people living with diabetes.