Today is World Diabetes Day, a day that aims to raise awareness and promote prevention of this life-changing condition. So, we’re looking at the simple differences you can make to your lifestyle to reduce yours and your family’s risk of Type 2 diabetes.
Unfortunately, diabetes is on the rise in the UK; cases have more than doubled in the last twenty years and it’s now predicted that more than 1 in 11 adults suffer from the condition worldwide. Type 2 diabetes previously mainly affected adults, and until recently was known as ‘adult-onset diabetes’. This term was dropped in recent years, as diagnoses in children increases at an alarming rate in correlation with the obesity crisis.
90% of diabetics suffer from Type 2 diabetes; a condition that prevents the body from effectively using the energy from food, and can result in feeling tired and sluggish. If left untreated, symptoms can be more serious and even life-threatening. Whilst Type 1 diabetes is unpreventable and not linked to lifestyle, Type 2 is linked to poor diet, physical inactivity and being overweight, but the good news is that you can take steps to prevent it!
Eating a healthier diet will significantly reduce your risk of diabetes. A ‘quick fix’ diet won’t work, you need to embrace a healthy, balanced diet long-term – but it’s not as scary as it sounds. Just follow these simple guidelines.
Katie says “exercise helps to keep blood sugar levels under control, because the muscles need to use carbohydrates for energy”. In other words, by getting active, you can help your body to get better at using the energy in food.
National guidelines suggest clocking up 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week – but this doesn’t mean you have to spend hours in the gym. Any activity that raises your heart rate will do the trick – whether that’s getting off the bus a stop early and walking the rest of the way, or taking the stairs instead of the lift.
Find an activity that you enjoy and actually want to do! Whether it’s pole dancing, rock climbing or dog agility training – think outside of the box and try new things in your local area to discover the thing that inspires you to get moving.
90% of people living with diabetes are overweight or obese. It’s a key risk factor, so by reaching and maintaining a healthy weight, you’ll minimise your risk of developing type 2 diabetes (or even reverse the course of the condition, according to a new study).
By eating well and being active, you’ll increase your chances of maintaining a healthy BMI. If you’re overweight, you’ll need to reduce your calorie intake a little bit more in order to drop those extra pounds that could contribute to future health issues.
A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy, whilst anything over 25 might put you at risk. Use our quick and easy BMI calculator to check whether you need to focus on maintaining or losing weight.
It is important for everybody to take preventative measures against diabetes; with diagnoses on the rise amongst adults and children, embracing a healthy lifestyle will help to reduce yours and your family’s risk of diabetes (as well as other health complications )
But don’t worry, you don’t have to do it alone. We understand that sometimes you need a bit of support making these changes. That’s why we run a variety of programmes, designed to fit around all different lifestyles, to help you settle into your own long-term healthy lifestyle. Whether you’re 2 or 72, we have a group to suit you.