Be a Diabetes Warrior

YMCA of the Suncoast Enhance Fitness

According the National Diabetes Statistics Report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 100 million Americans live with diabetes, and more than 7 million of those individuals don’t even know it. The 2017 report also notes that Type 2 diabetes, the form of diabetes that can be prevented and controlled, affects nearly ninety-five percent of those diagnosed. As World Diabetes Day approaches, YMCA of the Suncoast is determined to stop this disease by helping families take up arms and become diabetes warriors.

Slice Those Veggies:  Diet is one of the most critical components of preventing or managing diabetes. Cutting up colorful vegetables and eating balanced meals that include modest servings of protein will help you conquer or control diabetes. Use the American Diabetes Association’s (ADA) “plate method” to determine proper proportions: half a plate of vegetables, one-quarter plate of protein and one quarter plate of starch.

Mount the Exercise Bike: Another essential element of diabetes prevention and management is exercise. Research shows that moderately brisk exercise can make your body more sensitive to insulin, which helps you manage diabetes. Start walking or jogging, or better yet, join an exercise class with others to support you on your journey. Find something you enjoy and commit to doing it for 150 minutes a week.

Prepare for Battle: One of the key factors for success in managing diabetes is being prepared. This requires a conscious effort to think ahead about those events that could create hurdles in your war against this disease. Consider bringing healthy snacks to parties, holiday events or family gatherings. When visiting others, make time to walk together while you catch up. Remember to keep your health foremost in your mind.

Call in the Calvary:  If you suffer from diabetes, getting professional help or support from others can increase your chances of winning this war. Look for diabetes support or education groups where you can share experiences and information with others. If you’re overweight, find groups that will guide you toward losing and managing your weight, which is likely to reduce the effects of the disease. If you need help getting started with an exercise program, consider working with a personal trainer after talking with your physician.

Man Your Battle Station: To ensure the enemy doesn’t seize you, see your doctor regularly and follow his or her instructions for managing your diabetes.  Check blood sugar levels as directed, take medications, including insulin, as directed and practice healthy choices on a daily basis.