Diabetes takes more American lives each year than breast cancer and AIDS combined. November American Diabetes Month and it’s important to recognize that diabetes is a serious disease. It’s also important to recognize you can reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes through lifestyle changes.
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes. It is sometimes called non-insulin dependent diabetes, or “adult onset” diabetes since it usually develops after the age of 35. However, a number of younger people are now developing type 2 diabetes. Here are some lifestyle changes you can make to help lower your risk of a diagnosis.
Being overweight raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It can also cause other problems, like high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol, and high blood glucose (sugar). Losing weight can help you prevent and manage these problems. And you don't have to lose a lot of weight - even losing 10-15 pounds can make a big difference.
? Cut back on calories and fat.
? Be physically active most days of the week.
? Eat a nutritious breakfast every day.
? Keep a record of your weight, what you eat and drink, and what you do for physical activity.
? It's much easier to lose weight when you change the way you eat and also increase your activity.
Eating well to maintain a healthy weight is one of the most important things you can do to lower your risk for diabetes. It can be hard to make healthy food choices, particularly if you are on a budget and short on time, but there are some simple steps you can take to help you and your family eat healthier.
? Use a grocery list when shopping to stick to your plan.
? Buy leaner meats and lower fat dairy products.
? Buy whole grain breads and cereals
? Save money by skipping the soda, sweets and snack foods.
? Plan weekly meals.
? Never shop when you are hungry.
? Cut down on sodium.
? Start meals with a salad to fill you up before you get to the higher fat foods.
? Make healthy snack foods easy to find in your kitchen.
? In restaurants ask if meats can be grilled rather than fried.
Physical Activity. Even if you've never exercised before, you can find ways to add physical activity to your day. You'll get health benefits, even if your activities aren't strenuous. Once physical activity is a part of your routine, you'll wonder how you did without it!
? Helps keep your blood glucose, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides on target
? Lowers your risk for pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke
? Relieves stress
? Strengthens your heart, muscles and bones
? Improves your blood circulation and tones your muscles
? Keeps your body and your joints flexible
A complete physical activity routine includes four kinds of activity:
1. Activity—walking, using the stairs, moving around—throughout the day
2. Aerobic exercise, such as brisk walking, swimming, or dancing
3. Strength training, like lifting light weights
4. Flexibility exercises, such as stretching
It's easier to make lifestyle changes one step at a time—over months and years. Think of each small step as one piece of your effort to change your habits. Making changes one step at a time gives you the best chance to reach and stay at a healthy weight and reduce your risk for type 2 diabetes.
Sinclair Broadcasting is committed to the health and well-being of our viewers, which is why we’re introducing Sinclair Cares. Every month we’ll bring you information about the “Cause of the Month,” including topical information, education, awareness and prevention. Here’s a look at what causes are coming up:
November American Diabetes Month
December Safe Driving Month
January Shape Up U.S. Month
February American Heart Month
March National Nutrition Month
April National Autism Awareness Month
May National Asthma/Allergy Awareness Month
June Men’s Health Education and Awareness Month
July UV Awareness Month
August National Immunization Awareness Month
September Healthy Aging Month