Working from Home with T1D - How to Keep Moving
Anyone who knows me, knows that I just made a big career shift. I went from working as a Physical Therapist Assistant in a busy clinic, to working from home full-time for my favorite non-profit, Children with Diabetes. Now that I have had about 4 weeks to adjust to a more sedentary job, I have learned quite a bit about managing T1D with such a big change in activity level. Working from home have your BGs running high? I hope what I have learned will help you!
The first week working from home, I found my blood sugars quite a mess to manage. I went from 8 hours on my feet, to 8 hours at a desk, and my body felt it. Not only was I sitting more, but I also had unlimited access to... you guessed it... the fridge and the pantry. I knew one week in that I had to make some changes before I saw a change in my A1C... and my pant size. Below are a few things I have done to make my life working from home a little easier and healthier.
- Set timers to get up and MOVE - I found that if I set myself hour long timers to remind me to get up and move for 10 minutes or so, this helps me not to get as stiff and keeps my blood sugars down. Sometimes my 10 minutes of moving may be putting away laundry or taking the dogs out, other times I may get up and do some jumping jacks or take a short walk. Either way, moving from my desk chair periodically makes me feel much better throughout the day.
- Keep HEALTHY snacks around - With my office adjacent to my kitchen, I find myself making lots of snack trips. I find this not to be as much of an issue if I keep healthy choices around. I like to keep 0 carb snacks around like cheese, sliced meat, boiled eggs, pickles, to have items that will not impact my BG as much. I also like to keep berries, Two Good yogurt, and other healthy "sweet treats" around for when I get a sweet tooth. Making these changes instead of eating chips and cookies all day makes a world of a difference.
- Do NOT skip the gym - Working from home, you have minimal excuse to not get a workout in. Even if it is before your day starts or after your work day ends, get a good workout in every day. I do not go to a gym but, instead, utilize some cheap weights, my beautiful neighborhood, and my Peloton. I try to do strength training, a walk/run, or a Peloton ride every day of the week. This will help keep your BGs down and your body healthy while you work a sit down job all day.
- Track your WATER intake - Drinking water is always important and it is even easier to remember to do when you are at home. Even if you need to put a sticky note on your desk every day to tally your water intake, it is important not to neglect that. I found that when I upped my water intake, my blood sugars became much easier to manage even when I am sedentary.
I hope some of what I learned helps you in your work from home journey! I know that not all WFH jobs offer the same flexibility, but it is important to use some of the perks of working from home to keep yourself healthy and your blood sugars in check!
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