Let’s get real for just a minute. When was the last time you made a doctor’s appointment for yourself? Just an overall how-are-YOU-doing kind of appointment? It’s been a while, huh? Don’t worry, I get it. 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 really, there is no excuse for us to not take time to care for ourselves.
How are we going to continue to care for others if we don’t care for US too? So I have an important message to share with all of you and I hope that you will spread awareness with me. 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 challenging. 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.
Here are some recommendations from the American Diabetes Association:
- 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.