If you’re wondering how to prevent diabetes, that’s good—diabetes is a big deal. Diabetes rates continue to surge in the U.S. And the statistics speak for themselves: according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 100 million Americans have diabetes and approximately 7 million are unaware that they’re afflicted. What’s even more scary is that of those people who are aware, less than half really try to reduce their risk by losing weight and exercising more.
Although there are certain factors you can’t change such as your genes or age, there are many actions you can take to reduce your risk of diabetes. And it’s never too late to start. Read on for 5 simple tricks everyone can start today for prevention.
5 Tips on How to Prevent Diabetes
Peel off the Pounds
One of the best tips on how to prevent diabetes is to lose weight if you’re overweight or obese. Even shedding 10 pounds can significantly slash your risk since extra weight makes it harder for the body to use insulin to control blood sugar. Make minor changes to your diet that you can stick with over time. Choose a realistic goal with your doctor and celebrate your success when you get there.
Catch Some ZZZs
There is a link between getting some serious shut-eye and diabetes. When you’re sleep-deprived, you tend to eat more, which causes weight gain which then leads to health problems—including diabetes. To get a good night’s rest, stay away from caffeine after noon, leave work at the office and skip late-night TV or staying glued to your mobile phone.
Exercise is so amazing for you. There are endless benefits—for example, exercise can help you:
- Lose weight
- Be happier
- Lower your blood sugar
- Boost your sensitivity to insulin—which helps keep your blood sugar with a normal range
Exercise helps the body utilize the hormone insulin more efficiently since it increases the number of insulin receptors on your cells, which provides long-lasting blood sugar benefits. Exercise can help control and prevent diabetes so try getting at least 30 minutes of it every day.
And you don’t have to limit yourself to hitting the gym—walking is a great way to keep moving. Walk as much as you possibly can every day to be healthier and help keep diabetes at bay. Park your car further away than you normally would, take the stairs or the next time you’re on a phone call walk while you talk!
While most types of exercise can help prevent diabetes, researchers now have a sense of which type has the most impact. Here are Prevention’s exercises to combat diabetes.
Keep Track of Your Carbs
Managing your carbs can help keep your blood sugar under control. Keep tabs on how often you have carbs and how many. Opt for high-fiber carbs like fruit, beans, green vegetables and whole grains.
Manage Your Stress
Stress and diabetes don’t mix. Stress can skyrocket your blood sugar levels. If your cells are insulin resistant, all that sugar starts to build up in your blood and has nowhere to go, which can lead to chronically high levels. Relaxation exercises and stress management can help you gain control over blood sugar levels. Try these proven de-stressors:
- Taking deep breaths
You have control over many of the factors that influence diabetes. Use these tips as motivators for making changes to help reduce your risk.
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References: http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/lifestyle-tips-to-avoid-diabetes-complications, https://www.prevention.com/health/easy-rules-for-diabetes-prevention/slide/1, https://www.caring.com/articles/6-ways-to-stop-diabetes