Luckily, while diabetes is a complex disease that is complicated to manage, the steps you can take to decrease your risk are relatively SIMPLE! And there are only TWO STEPS!
Step 1: Get Moving!
In a federally funded study through the NIH, it was shown that people at high risk could prevent or delay the onset of Type 2 diabetes by losing 5-7% of their body weight. In the study they only had to do 30 minutes of physical activity 5 days a week! That’s really not that much physical activity, but it made a huge difference in their diabetes risk! I personally find getting more exercise difficult, but over the years as I've used exercise to help manage my Type 1 diabetes, I've learned that you don’t have to start out as a marathon runner! Just pick something you enjoy, like walking or dancing, and it won’t seem like such a chore.
Step 2: Eat Healthier!
In the same study, it was shown that combining increased physical activity while eating less fatty foods and decreasing calorie intake, prevented or delayed onset of diabetes. Sometimes eating healthier can be challenging, but a good way to start is to eat less junk (soda, ice cream, chips, etc.) watch your portion sizes, and eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Sometimes developing Type 2 diabetes is just in your genetic make-up, no matter what you do. But, a lot of people can prevent it by doing SIMPLE things like getting active and eating better food! And, even if you’re not at risk for Type 2 diabetes, it is just plain ole’ good sense to do those things anyway! My advice is to set some small, achievable goals for yourself, get some friends & family on board to support you, and have fun doing it! So, what are YOUR physical activity and healthy eating goals?
To read more about preventing Type 2 diabetes, check out this link.
Next Up: Diabetes Camp!