Hacking doesn’t mean what it used to.

When you see the word, your mind probably jumps to spy movies, where a bad guy in black types in some fancy code on a computer. Not necessarily true. Today, “hacks” has become a popular word to describe little things you can do to make your life easier every day. So, without any more waiting, here are five diabetes hacks you can use to simplify your care routine.

At the airport: No one wants to be “that guy” who holds up the line at security. But with all your vials, needles, and pills that need to get scanned–what’s a person with diabetes to do? Next time, try putting all your diabetes care supplies in a clear plastic bag, along with a note from your doctor. Make sure this bag is near the top of your suitcase when you’re packing, so you can find it quickly when you’re in the security line. Just unzip, scan, repack, and you’re on your way to your destination.

Kickstarting your insulin: Need that medicine to kick in quickly? Try exercising first. According to the American Diabetes Association, exercise lowers blood glucose and makes your body more sensitive to the effects of insulin. It doesn’t take much–a walk around the block, a couple jumping jacks, or even a few trips up and down the stairs will do.

Emergency kits: How many times have you caught yourself saying, “If only I had __or I should have packed__.” Beat your diabetes to the punch by placing diabetes emergency kits in places you visit frequently like your car or office. They don’t have to be fancy–it’s amazing what a plastic bag with a few glucose tabs, some antibacterial wipes, or adhesive strips can do.

Organizing your insulin vials: Can’t remember which one’s which? Color code them with a little piece of washi tape.

Too many test strips: Instead of lugging all of them–or worse, letting them get lost in the shuffle of your bag–stick five or six in a little plastic breath strip container. (Just make sure you rinse it out with warm, soapy water first.)

What are your favorite diabetes hacks? Tell us in the comments below!

Photo courtesy of c.lai29 on Flickr