Exercise to Reduce Your Risk for Type 2 Diabetes

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Approximately one in 10 Americans has type 2 diabetes, a disease that occurs when the pancreas produces too little insulin or the body doesn’t use insulin properly. Are you at risk? Find out by taking the American Diabetes Association (ADA) Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test online. While certain risk factors are beyond your control, like family history, age and several aspects of your medical history, you can prevent or delay onset by lowering your controllable risk factors. The ADA lists three major ways you can reduce your odds of developing type 2 diabetes: 

  • Eat well. Reducing sugar intake while increasing consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and whole grains is a highly effective way to reduce your risk.
  • Be physically active. Regular exercise has a number of benefits, from heart health to increased energy, but it can also help prevent type 2 diabetes by keeping your blood glucose in check.
  • Maintain a normal weight. When you are overweight, your risk for type 2 diabetes increases (by the way, your risk for heart disease and stroke does, too!). Check your BMI; a BMI of greater than or equal to 30 significantly increases your risk of diabetes. Click hereto calculate your BMI.
  • Talk with your primary care physician about your risk factors for type 2 diabetes. If you don’t have a primary care doctor, visitwww.mygbmcdoctor.com to find one who is right for you. GBMC primary care physicians care for patients in more than 10 locations throughout Baltimore County.
  • Make a grocery list with healthy items you plan to eat that week. Take the list with you and stick to it, shopping mainly around the perimeter of the store. There are many free apps available for download that allow you to create a list on your phone or tablet.
  • Cook meals at home instead of going out. Looking for recipes? The ADA offers a free recipe guide that includes meal plans and cooking tips. GBMC frequently posts healthy recipes on Pinterest, too!
  • Utilize opportunities in your day to exercise. Take a 20-minute walk around your workplace at lunch; take the stairs; park far away from the building—whatever you do, the goal is to get moving!
  • Watch out for sugar lurking in your diet in condiments like salad dressing and sauces. One tablespoon of maple syrup has about half of the recommended daily amount of sugar! Check out some of the places sugar hides in your diet here.

GBMC HealthCare wants to help keep its patients healthy and out of the hospital. In addition to primary care services, GBMC offers expert care through its Geckle Diabetes and Nutrition Center. Learn more about the Geckle Center at www.gbmc.org/diabetes and learn more about primary care at www.mygbmcdoctor.com.

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