Exercise And Diet Are Crucial In Fighting Diabetes


November is American Diabetes Month, a great time to highlight the link between exercise, diet, and the disease, including for people over age 40. The American Diabetes Association says 30 million Americans have diabetes, the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. A person’s weight is a major factor. Exercise and proper eating are important in preventing and managing diabetes. The ADA says we can take steps to prevent type 2, the most common form. “Stay at a healthy weight, eat well and be active. With these steps, you can stay healthier longer and lower your risk of diabetes.” The ADA defines type 2 diabetes as “characterized by high blood glucose levels caused by either a lack of insulin or the body's inability to use insulin efficiently. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in middle-aged and older adults but can appear in young people.” Among Americans age 65 and older, 25.2 percent or 12 million people have diabetes, the ADA says If you think you might be at risk, talk to your doctor. If you have been diagnosed, be sure to know about proper eating and exercising and take care of yourself every day. How exercise helps Physical activity:

  • Helps lower blood glucose, blood pressure, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides

  • Lowers risk for pre-diabetes, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke

  • Relieves stress

  • Strengthens the heart, muscles and bones

  • Improves blood circulation and tones muscles

  • Improves flexibility and reduces inflammation

And no, you’re not too old to start. “Even if you've never exercised before, you can find ways to add physical activity to your day,” the ADA says. “Even if your activities aren't strenuous, you'll still get health benefits.” The double impact of purposeful training (resistance training and walking) combined with mindful eating can do wonders.