Manage Diabetes With Exercise and Nutrition
Did you know that in the United States, 7% of the population has been diagnosed with diabetes? That means that there are approximately 14.6 million children and adults out there struggling to manage diabetes. Just what is this disease that plagues many people just like you and how can it be dealt with?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body is not properly using the insulin it has or in other cases, not even producing it at all. Insulin is a hormone, which the body needs in order to convert sugar, starches and other food into energy. On some level, this disease continues to be a mystery, but genetics, lack of exercise and obesity are three of the biggest contributors to the onset of diabetes. However you can manage diabetes with exercise and nutrition.
TYPES OF DIABETES
There are 4 major types of diabetes:
- Type 1 Diabetes: This results from the body’s failure to produce insulin. What used to be termed “juvenile diabetes”, this disease is usually controlled with a modified diet, exercise as well as insulin injections to replace the missing hormone.
- Type 2 Diabetes: This form of diabetes is the most common and unfortunately, it is growing rapidly among the population due to the lack of physical activity and increase of obesity. Type 2 diabetes can usually be managed with healthy eating habits, exercise and in many cases, prescription medication.
- Gestational Diabetes: This form of diabetes affects women during pregnancy. Although the cause of gestational diabetes has not been confirmed, it could be due to the placenta hormones blocking the insulin in the mother’s body. If untreated, it could cause harm both to the baby and to you. Managing this condition usually involves planned meals, doctor approved exercise and in some cases, injections of insulin.
- Pre-Diabetes: This condition occurs when your glucose levels are high, but not high enough to be diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes. If you find yourself in this situation it is imperative that you nip it soon so you don’t become a full-fledged diabetic. Alter your eating habits if the ones you have are unhealthy, and start exercising regularly to bring those sugar levels down.
Did you notice the common thread between all four types? You can manage diabetes with exercise and nutrition.
HOW TO MAKE HEALTHY FOOD CHOICES:
- Eat lots of fruits and vegetables
- Choose lean meats over fatty ones and add fish to your diet
- Drink lots of water
- If you like soda, try sticking with calorie-free diet drinks
- Cook with extra-virgin olive oil instead of solid fats
- Switch to non-fat dairy
- Think whole-grain instead of processed grains
- Ease up on the junk food snacks
- Watch your portions (even too much healthy food can cause weight gain)
MANAGE DIABETES WITH EXERCISE:
There are three main forms of exercise that should be incorporated into your daily life:
- Aerobic (Cardio)
- Strength Training
- Flexibility Exercises
Other ways to be active during the day are:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Work in your garden
- Park further away from the office, grocery store or mall
- Walk whenever possible—to the corner store, during your lunch hour, etc.
It is possible to manage diabetes with exercise and proper nutrition, no matter what type you may be suffering from. Stay active and enjoy the benefit of feeling better!