RAC Aware November – Diabetes

Provided by: www.diabetes.org, www.healthfinder.gov and www.everydayhealth.com

Type 2 Diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. More than 23 million people in the U.S. have diabetes, and of those, 90 to 95 percent have type 2 diabetes, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). If you’re 45 or older, you should get tested. Type 2 Diabetes can lead to many health problems including heart issues, kidney failure and eye damage.
In type 2 diabetes, your body does not use insulin properly. This is called insulin resistance. At first, the pancreas makes extra insulin to make up for it. But, over time your pancreas isn’t able to keep up and can’t make enough insulin to keep your blood glucose levels normal. Type 2 is treated with lifestyle changes, oral medications, and insulin.
Most people find it easier to make healthy changes in a few small steps instead of all at once. Set realistic goals within a timeframe that works for you. Choose one or two things you’d like to try to get started. Then set a plan to make it happen.

Get active.
Once physical activity is a part of your routine, you’ll wonder how you managed without it.

Reducing the amount of time spent sitting or being still is important for everyone. Set your alarm to get up and stretch or walk around the house or office at least every 30 minutes throughout the day.
Aerobic exercise makes your heart and bones strong, relieves stress and improves blood circulation. It also lowers your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke by keeping your blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels on target.
Aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activities. Choose aerobic activities (activities that make your heart beat faster) like walking fast, swimming, or raking leaves.
Do strengthening activities at least 2 days a week. These include activities like crunches (sit-ups), push-ups, or lifting weights.

Eat healthy.
Being overweight raises your risk for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. It can also increase risk of high blood pressure, unhealthy cholesterol and high blood glucose (sugar). If you are overweight, losing weight may help you prevent and manage these conditions. Weight loss can be hard because it involves changing the way you eat and your physical activity. Losing weight also takes time, which can be frustrating. The good news is that you can lose weight and keep it off, even if you’ve never done it before.

Cut back on calories and fat.
Be physically active most days of the week.
Eat breakfast every day.
Watch less than 10 hours of TV per week.

Find support.
Find support and stick with it.

Take along a friend, especially if you are trying out a new activity.
If you don’t meet your physical activity goal, don’t give up. Start again tomorrow.
Be active according to your abilities. Remember, some physical activity is better than none!