Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a key factor in disease prevention. Research shows that the risk of getting prediabetes and type 2 diabetes decreases when you make smart choices about your health. Here are a few tips that can help you get started.
1. Manage your weight. Fatty tissue in the body, especially around the belly area can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. So, managing your weight is a very important key to prevention. Create a plan that includes a healthy diet, exercise and meditation to keep down your stress level.
2. Plan your meals in advance. Consider using a meal plan and prepping your meals ahead of time. Meal planning puts you in better control of your meal choices and can help you cut down on snacking. Find healthy recipes you and your family can enjoy. Planning ahead can also help your budget.
3. Make healthy food choices. Eat live foods. Choose more fruits, vegetables and grains, and cut back on processed foods with ingredients you can’t pronounce. If you can’t say it, you shouldn’t eat it. Also, ensure you are eating a diet rich in fiber.
4. Avoid fast food and junk food. This really needs no explanation. Fast food and junk food are not the best choices, especially if you’re trying to change your lifestyle.
5. Exercise Regularly. Regular exercise is a very important part of living a healthy life. Do some kind of physical activity every day for at least 20 – 30 minutes. Walk to the store. Dance with your children. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Look for ways to remain active daily.
6. Get plenty of rest. A good night sleep is as important as your diet and exercise. The right amount of sleep can help in your fight to maintain your weight and make you more productive. Research has shown that not getting the proper amount of sleep can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
7. Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol can affect your blood sugar levels. Alcoholic drinks can also be high in calories and stimulate your appetite causing you to overeat. So, be mindful of what you choose to drink and how much you consume. Healthcare professionals recommend no more than two drinks per day for men and one drink per day for women.
8. Quit smoking. “Smokers are 30-40% more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than nonsmokers,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Finally, it is always a good idea to have regular check-ups with your doctor and discuss creating a plan for your health, especially if you have any of the risk factors related to diabetes.
By Caitlin Williams