Everyone knows that diabetes is a dangerous disease. No one wants to be diagnosed with it. Yet most of us are guilty of engaging in daily habits that not only increase our risk for developing this disease but others such as heart disease as well. Worse yet, we often don’t even realize we’re taking part in these bad practices. Ask yourself: Do any of these six habits sound familiar? If so, you may be contributing to your risk of getting this deadly disease. Not all diseases can be prevented with proper diet and exercise. But to prevent diabetes, keep the following habits in mind.
1. Your Idea of Exercise is Reaching for the Remote
If channel-flipping is your idea of working out, then you are at a much greater risk of getting diagnosed. People with sedentary lifestyles are far more likely to obtain diabetes. In fact several studies suggest a strong correlation between watching TV, weight gain, and the development of diabetes — independent of diet and exercise.
2. Soda and Sugary Drinks Are Your Go-To Refreshment
It has long been known that copious sugar intake, along with family history, is one of the largest contributors to developing diabetes. Soda and other sugary drinks are the easiest and fastest way to consume sugar. Even worse is the perception that drinking calories and sugar are somehow not as bad for you as eating sweets. One of the easiest ways to reduce your sugar intake is to replace your current beverage of choice with water or another low-sugar beverage.
3. It’s Been a While Since You’ve Seen Your Feet
Now is the time for a staggering statistic: Studies show that those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes are also diagnosed with overweight or obesity in 80 to 90 percent of the cases. You don’t need to have your Ph.D. to see the incredible correlation between diabetes and being overweight or obese. If you are, it would strongly benefit you to start a diet and exercise regimen before it’s too late.
4. You Take the Elevator — to the Second Floor
This one picks up where bad habit #3 leaves off. One of the greatest risk factors of getting diabetes is living a sedentary lifestyle. If you are one of those who avoids taking the steps at all costs – it will most likely cost you more in the long run. In addition to practicing good eating habits, it is extremely important to work exercise into your daily routine. (Even if you are limited by age or disability there is most likely something you can do to remain physically active.) Avoiding a sedentary lifestyle is not only good for your social life, but for your health!
In my opinion, if a patient of mine were to walk 20 minutes a day for each pill he takes for diabetes, he’d see in a few months that he no longer needs to be taking as many pills. With all the savings on prescriptions, that money could easily be reallocated to your new wardrobe — like, say, some great walking shoes!
5. When You Enter a Room, Your Gut Goes First
Does size matter? Ahh, the age old question…No, not that question! In the case of diabetes size definitely matters. Your mid-section is your ‘gauge’ to alert you that you may be heading towards a diagnosis of diabetes. Speak to your doctor if you are overweight and have any additional risk factors outlined in this article.
6. The Last Time You Saw Your Doctor, Phones Were Dumb
If you haven’t seen you’re doctor for your annual physical in as long as you can remember, you are probably more prone to develop diabetes and other related conditions. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) blood glucose screenings for anyone over the age of 45 who is overweight, and for those under 45 who are overweight and have at least two other risk factors such as a sedentary lifestyle or family history of diabetes. Bottom line: Having a conversation with your doctor is easy; living a life with diabetes isn’t.
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