Gain a Lot by Losing a Few PoundsIN WEIGHT MANAGEMENT
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), losing 5 to 7 percent of your body weight and getting regular physical activity can reduce your risk for Type 2 diabetes by up to 58 percent. Maintaining a healthy weight is one of the best ways to help prevent and manage diabetes.
When your body mass index (BMI) approaches 25 or greater, your body can begin to develop a resistance to insulin, the chemical that helps control your blood sugar levels. Eventually, this can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Fortunately, reducing your BMI to between 18.5 and 24.9 can help reduce your risk for diabetes or help you manage the disease if you already have it.
Losing about 10 to 15 pounds can help control your weight, blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels. It can also prevent heart and blood flow problems, reducing your risk for heart disease, a common health concern for those with diabetes. These improvements can reduce your dependence on medication and lower your risk for diabetes-related health complications.
Go Further by Starting Small
Before you decide to make a multitude of lifestyle changes at once, remember the importance of setting manageable, attainable goals for yourself. It can be easy to give up on a new workout program or a healthful diet if you bite off more than you can chew. Remember, you only need to shed a few pounds in order to begin experiencing health benefits.
After you have set reasonable goals, discuss them with your physician. He or she can make specific exercise recommendations based on your overall health status and physical condition, and help you choose healthy foods to eat. As you begin to implement your plan, try the following ideas to keep you on track:
- Aim to get 30 minutes of physical activity each day.
- Consider wearing a pedometer to track the number of steps you take each day, and aim for about 10,000 steps.
- Eat broth-based soups, salads, fruits and vegetables to fill up without eating excessive calories.
- Reward yourself when you meet your goals with non-food treats, such as new walking shoes or a spa visit.
- Stock up on healthful foods and remove tempting foods from your home.
- Track your progress by writing down your activities and accomplishments in a journal.
As you take control of your weight, continue monitoring your glucose levels and talk with your doctor. Reaching your goals may take time, but the health benefits are well worth the effort.
|Control Your Blood Sugar with Strength Training
A recent study found that men with diabetes who participated in 16 weeks of strength training experienced dramatic improvements in glucose control. In some cases, strength training was as effective at regulating blood sugar as medication. Strengthened muscles also brought a variety of other benefits, including decreased body fat, lowered risk of depression and increased confidence. You do not need to bench press hundreds of pounds to reap these rewards. In fact, people of all ages can boost their muscle fitness at home with little or no equipment. Start with a five-minute jog to warm up, and be sure to stretch your muscles before and after exercising. Once your muscles are loose, consider trying the following exercises:
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Sources: cdc.gov, health.com, diabetes.org, nih.gov, healthfinder.gov
For more information on diabetes, call HRMC’s diabetes educator at 353-6326 or visit us online.