6 Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is a lifestyle disease that can be prevented, managed and even reversed with a healthy lifestyle. Approximately 50% of the driver population is dealing with Type 2 Diabetes, a chronic disease that has serious, life altering consequences including heart disease, nerve damage, kidney disease, eye damage, skin conditions, impaired healing, hearing loss, sleep apnea, stroke, and dementia. Type 2 Diabetes affects the way your body processes blood sugar. Type 2 diabetics either don’t produce enough insulin or the body resists insulin, resulting in too much sugar circulating in the bloodstream.

Take steps now to reduce your risk factors and avoid diabetes or work to change your lifestyle and potentially reverse your diagnosis.

Risk factors, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for Type 2 Diabetes:

-Diagnosed as pre-diabetic (fasting blood sugar 100-125), A1C 5.7-6.4, Glucose Tolerance 140-199

-Overweight or obese

-Holding fat in the abdomen i.e. men with a waist circumference of 40 inches or greater women 35 inches or greater

45 years of age or older

-Family history of diabetes

-Sedentary lifestyle with too little exercise

-Gestational diabetes during pregnancy

-African American, Hispanic, or American Indian ethnicity

-High blood pressure and cholesterol

A healthy lifestyle is all the rage, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. For those with diabetes and other chronic conditions, the risk of infection was greater. A healthy lifestyle will not only prevent or even reverse diabetes, but will strengthen your immune system against future variants.

Take action NOW!

1. Lose 5-10% of your bodyweight. This can have a dramatic impact on your overall health. If you weigh 280, losing 28 pounds may mean the difference between good health and disease.

2. Exercise for 150 minutes each week-walking for 30 minutes, five times a week for example. Strength train for 15 minutes, two times a week. Our bodies were meant to move. Our sedentary lifestyles have lead to the diabetes crisis.

3. According to the American Heart Association, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, skinless chicken, fish, unsalted nuts and seeds will help prevent diabetes. Replacing saturated fat with monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats and eliminating all trans fats, is a necessity. Reducing or eliminating red meat, processed meats, sugar sweetened beverages and all processed foods are critical. Studies prove that a plant-based diet, where most of your food comes from plants, can have a dramatic impact on your risk for diabetes.

4. Limit alcohol consumption. Alcohol is a toxin and is not healthy in any amount.

5. Reduce and manage stress. Adopt a yoga or meditation practice. Journal your positive thoughts. Use exercise as a way to manage stress.

6. Prioritize 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night.

7. If you are prediabetic or diabetic, check your blood sugar at least daily. For diabetics, explore the possibility of a continous glucose monitor. Knowing your blood sugar, and how it is impacted by what you eat, your exercise, stress, and sleep will encourage you to choose behaviors that have a positive impact.

Use the Rolling Strong application and Wellness Coaching to help you stay accountable and for guidance. We can help develop an exercise plan that works for you with manageable goals and a slow progression. We can also guide your energy intake and suggest ways to plan for healthier meals on the road.

Take steps now to avoid, manage or even reverse Type 2 Diabetes. This lifestyle disease doesn’t have to be your identity.

by Christy Coughlin, Wellness Coach