Preventative Diabetes Measures You can Take Today

consulting-doctorThe state of New Jersey ranks 16th overall for risks of diabetes. At a glance, New Jersey has several great things going for it. There is a high rate of graduation, low rate of obesity and Jersey doesn’t need a “quits” campaign because only about 14 percent of the population smokes. The grass is a bit greener, but it doesn’t mean that Jersey doesn’t have its share of issues. Our low weight is offset by the higher population of uninsured. That makes it important to follow some basic dietary rules, especially if you’re diabetic.

If you’re not one of the lucky ones who commutes to work via walking, you need to figure out more ways to work exercise into your routine.

Know the Risks

Know thy enemy, and diabetes preys upon inactivity. Essentially, diabetes hinders the body’s ability to produce or use insulin. As people age, they tend to become more sedentary. That lack of movement is unhealthy, and combined with unhealthy eating habits leads to weigh gain. Also at risk are mothers who deliver large babies (those weighing over nine pounds).

A diabetic diagnosis is not a terminal case, but it will require some lifestyle changes. If you have diabetes, you probably know all about lancing and monitoring glucose levels. Diabetics must adhere to a strict diet in order to maintain suitable blood sugar levels.

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Exercise

About thirty minutes of exercise per day is all you need to offset some of your risks for diabetes. That can take the form of a walk around the neighborhood, or a trip to Turkey Swamp Park, a lovely woods walk off the 195. The trail goes right up alongside a small river, and you can hunt there too. It gets you outdoors and decreases your weight. It is a little cold for a long outdoor trek, so treadmills are also useful. Hit the gym if you don’t have the space in your home.

Diet

The basis of a diabetic’s meal plan involves relatively healthy food intake at very regulated times. Severe cases of diabetes may require drastic changes to a meal plan, but there are several additions you can start to make to your diet regardless of the health risks you may or may not face. Grains, fruits, beans, peas and lentils are all great carbohydrates for your body. Fiber is useful for your body’s digestive system, and try to eat fish as often as you can. Mackerel and tuna are all rich with omega-3 fatty acids.

Monitor

You should establish a base line for your body, or a point where your body is healthy. This helps you gauge your progress and identify the ups and downs you face as your routine sets in. These days, many diabetics track their progress using a glucose app to record and graph readings from glucose monitoring machines. This process typically involves lancing a fingertip to collect a small blood sample, or using a continuous glucose monitoring system.

If you’re not a diabetic yet, keeping a chart of your weight and tracking your calories can help avoid some of the risks. Download apps for your phone designed to keep track of the foods you eat, and stick to a diet that is close to your caloric needs. Remember that the more active you are, the higher that number goes. So those who do no exercise should eat closer to 1,000 calories a day, while those who exercise heavily may go as high as 2,000.

Diabetes does require changes to your lifestyle, but these changes are all manageable. Track your progress and use it to gamify your life by rewarding yourself when you hit your goals.