An overwhelming number of Canadians are living with prediabetes and diabetes and the numbers are continuing to rise. According to Diabetes Canada, one in three Canadians have diabetes and those who are 20 years old are looking at a 50 percent chance of being diagnosed with the condition in their lifetime. A few alarming statistics about diabetes awareness are worth sharing:
- Less than 50 percent of all Canadians can identify less than half of the early warning signs of diabetes.
- Only 33 percent of Canadians are aware that a stroke is a complication of diabetes.
- Only 40 percent of Canadians identified heart disease is a complication of diabetes.
Complications related to diabetes are serious and can be life-threatening. Annually, people living with diabetes account for:
- 30 percent of all strokes
- 40 percent of all heart attacks
- 50 percent of kidney failure requiring dialysis
- 70 percent of non-traumatic amputations
According to the International Diabetes Federation, diabetes is a leading cause of blindness, amputation, heart disease, kidney failure, and early death. Four out of five parents have trouble spotting the diabetes warning signs in their children. It is important to take the time to understand the risk of Type 2 diabetes so the IDF offers this risk-assessment test.
Prediabetes and type 2 diabetes are preventable by making lifestyle changes which will also help lower the risk of developing heart disease and some cancers. So if you currently have prediabetes or diabetes or are in the frame of mind to avoid it altogether, check out these simple, but effective, moves you can make to change the future of your health in a positive way.
Exercise - Get Moving
How many hours a day are you sitting or lying around barely lifting a finger? What percentage of the day is spent getting off the couch and moving your body? The good news is that once you get moving, it is fun and provides a significant ROI (return on investment) for your health.
The best exercises a person can do to improve blood sugar levels and weight are also great ways to spend time with friends. When you commit to a program with a friend, you are more likely to stick with it. Consistency is important if you want to improve your health over the long run. Working out with a buddy will give you more interest, more laughter, and ultimately positive results.
This list of exercises will help get you started.
- Team sports (tennis, softball, etc.)
- Aerobic dance (Zumba, Dancercise, Prancercise, etc.)
- Resistance band exercises
Reduce or Eliminate Smoking and Alcohol Consumption
Another great benefit of becoming involved in an exercise regimen is that many people experience a reduction in alcohol consumption and smoking, which is key to managing diabetes and other illnesses. The endorphins you get from working out will encourage you to make healthier choices each day.
If you find smoking or alcohol has become a habit, then break the pattern. Do not bring your cigarettes or vape with you, which will make it more difficult to grab a smoke when you would normally. It will help change the routine. The same with alcohol, move the bottles to a hard-to-reach place in the house where you won’t be tempted and discover virgin cocktails you can enjoy when going out to Happy Hour or dinner with friends and family.
Control Your Weight - the Leaner, the Better
No one is suggesting that you starve yourself into a skeletal figure, but becoming aware of your weight is in the best interest of your health and vitality. Although it has not been substantiated that extra pounds cause diabetes or if there is simply a genetic connection. Either way, losing weight can help lower your blood sugar and avoid more serious complications. It can also aid in cutting insulin resistance, reduce cholesterol, and reduce the risk of having a heart attack, kidney failure, and other conditions.
Losing weight for better health is not meant to become a negative, high-pressure situation that winds up deflating your enthusiasm. That’s exactly what makes people give up. Lose a couple of pounds at a time and keep it off. You will eventually develop a “new normal”, which is a great advantage.
Uplift Your Food Choices
One of the easiest changes a person with diabetes can make is in their food choices. For example switching from white flour foods to whole grains, multigrain, and the like is a major difference. Once you try a sandwich bursting with quality flavours you will never go back. White bread, white potatoes, white noodles can all be elevated into healthier choices that are uber-tasty and satisfying.
Baked sweet potatoes, multi-grain pasta, and whole-grain crackers can be paired with fresh vegetables, meats, and condiments that are guaranteed to become palate-pleasers. If this sounds difficult, start with changing one meal a day until you begin looking forward to your new choices. You’ll want to incorporate more and more into your daily meal planning once you see and feel the benefits.
Use Diabetes-Aid Products
Many prediabetics and diabetics are not aware of where to find products that help manage diabetes, such as glucose products, insulin pens, blood glucose meters, diabetic footwear, and socks. It is likely that your healthcare practitioner has advocated checking your blood sugar level regularly to assist in managing your condition. There are many different types of meters available, so check in with your doctor to find out if he/she has any specific recommendations.
There are also apps that can help track blood glucose which will help you lose weight by tracking your meals, help monitor your sleep patterns (very important for diabetics), and help make healthier choices in general. There are also products that can turn your mobile phone into a glucose meter and they are simple to operate.
Healthcare Solutions Supports Diabetics’ Health
At Healthcare Solutions, we seek to understand the needs of our customers. Our line of exercise equipment and diabetic footwear is top-notch and available to ship to Canadians and United States customers. We are an online, customer-driven healthcare store that is in business to support good health!
We have two locations in the Edmonton, Alberta area for added convenience or simply shop online! We are in business to support your health! Contact us here if you have any questions or comments. We would love to hear from you.
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