Do you ever feel like you’re doing the same things every day? If you have diabetes, it’s probably by design.

Variety may be the spice of life, but routine is essential for managing and controlling diabetes. From blood sugar testing to physical activity and even eating meals, staying on top of your condition means staying on a schedule. And without a solid health routine, it’s all too easy to forget one (or more) of those crucial daily tasks that keeps your diabetes under control and your health in good standing.

Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to live the same day from start to finish, but it does mean you need to prioritize certain aspects of your daily care. Read on to learn why routine is so important for diabetes patients and what you should be doing every day to stay in control of your health.

Why is routine so important for diabetes patients?

If you have diabetes, your body is unable to properly regulate the amount of glucose (sugar) in your blood. Improper levels of blood sugar can lead to a dizzying array of health problems, from muscle tremors and headaches to organ failure and even death.

Unfortunately, keeping your blood sugar stable can be a full-time job. Blood sugar levels fluctuate easily and often and can be affected by everything from food and physical activity to certain medications and even simple stress. Establishing a routine is an important part of understanding how those factors affect your own blood sugar levels and avoiding sudden spikes or dips that can harm your health.

A good routine can also help you be proactive in managing your glucose levels. For example, starting each day with a healthy breakfast can stabilize your morning blood sugar and help avoid a mid-day crash.

Some other examples of important daily routines include:

Healthy eating.

Diet and diabetes go hand-in-hand. To keep your blood sugar levels stable, it’s important to establish a strong routine of healthy eating. That doesn’t just include making good nutritional choices but eating at the proper times – and in the proper portions – to keep your glucose levels within the right range. Skipping meals can be just as problematic as over-snacking for diabetes patients.

Physical activity

Regular activity is crucial to blood sugar control. When you’re active, muscle contractions allow your body to burn glucose for energy without the need for insulin. Physical activity also increases insulin sensitivity, allowing your body to use glucose more efficiently and lowering blood sugar levels for up to 24 hours. Of course, staying active also helps you maintain a healthy weight and improves your overall health, both of which can make your diabetes easier to manage.

Blood sugar testing

Daily blood sugar monitoring provides important feedback that can help you and your doctor determine the best medications, foods, activities, and other treatment options for your condition. Specific testing needs vary, but diabetes patients should generally test their blood sugar before every meal, after physical activity, and at bedtime.