My grandpa has diabetes and my father has prediabetes. Diabetes runs in his family, so much so that his uncle lost a leg and eventually died from being diabetic. When I was pregnant, we had a gestational diabetes scare. Thankfully upon further testing, I came out alright. I used to work as a Senior Case Manager in a supervised living facility, and we’d need to ensure our clients maintained their blood glucose levels at a normal level. I’ve seen firsthand what happens when glucose levels go haywire, and people need to be hospitalized. Needless to say, I take this issue seriously.
Let’s face it – we have all been that person, the one who says “it’s okay, I am fine. I will make that doctors appointment another day.” There are millions of reasons why we don’t take time to make healthy lifestyle choices. Kids, jobs, cat videos on the Internet – we’re all busy.
But let me ask you this – if it were the health of your child, your parent, or another loved one, would you still procrastinate? Whatever the reason, there’s no excuse for not taking care of yourself just like you would make the time to take care of someone else!
March 22nd is Diabetes Alert Day. No one is excused from prediabetes. 86 million American adults (more than 1 in 3) have prediabetes and are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes, a serious health condition that can lead to heart attack and stroke. Surprisingly, nearly 90% of those with prediabetes don’t even know that they have it.
But it’s not all bad news. Prediabetes often can be reversed through weight loss, diet changes and increased physical activity. Diagnosis is key: research shows that once people are aware of their condition, they are much more likely to make the necessary lifestyle changes. Education and awareness could mean the difference in so many lives.
Making changes may seem tough. But remember, even a small amount of weight loss (5-7% of your body weight) can reverse prediabetes before it develops into type 2 diabetes.
- Get at least 2.5 hours (150 minutes) of light aerobic activity every week. This could be as simple as going for a brisk 30-minute walk 5 days per week. Even 10 minutes at a time adds up. Small steps can lead to big changes.
- Find simple ways to be more active throughout the day, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, or parking farther away from the entrance of a store front when you hit the shops. Because, hey, whatever will get you moving is a step in the right direction.
- At the start of each week, create a schedule of when you’re going to exercise — and make it a priority to stick to it!
We need to communicate a sense of urgency – it’s time to take action and what better day to spread the message than on Diabetes Alert Day! If you know someone who could be at risk, encourage them to visit DoIHavePrediabetes.org for a short online test that will help them learn their risk for prediabetes.
Disclosure: While I was not compensated for this post, I am being compensated as a Twitter Chat consultant for this campaign. Some of the above information was provided to me via a PSA. All opinions expressed are my own.