Avoiding Diabetes by Living a Healthy Lifestyle

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{mosimage} The October 2009 Circle article about Ron “Bear” Cronick stimulated a very positive response. You may recall that Bear is 70 years old and has had no diabetes until recently a physical showed some “pre-diabetes” elevated blood sugars. Bear is more motivated than ever to continue his daily exercise habits and high quality food choices.

Many people, after reading the article, sent me questions and asked, “How can I avoid diabetes?” So a second article appears here to answer the question.

Q. #1. How can I avoid diabetes?

A. First things first. What is your risk of diabetes today? Look at the chart below to find out:     

A very important point should jump out … lifestyle risk is at 87% for Type II diabetes, which means you can live a healthy life and avoid diabetes.

There is a 55% genetic risk of Type I diabetes which is passed on from parent to child, but there is also a 23% lifestyle risk. This means that you can benefit greatly by living a healthy lifestyle.  

The main issue with Type II diabetes is to AVOID OBESITY!

So Bear is absolutely correct in living a physically active lifestyle which burns plenty of daily calories through : Walking, chopping/splitting wood, biking, treadmill workouts, and more.

Q. #2. How do I get started in a daily exercise program?

A. My favorite answer to this question is to start by planning and implementing a daily walk of 20 minutes.

• Select the best time of day for your own

personal schedule,

• Set aside 30 minutes for yourself and maybe a

friend to join,

• Find some comfortable walking shoes and put

them on,

• Walk to your starting place and begin,

• Walk 10 minutes out … and 10 minutes back.

This sounds easy I know but I have heard every excuse in the book. Try this little routine 7 days in a row … rain, shine, snow, sleet… then 7 more days … and 7 more for a 3-week effort. After 3-weeks you have a new habit which is part of your daily lifestyle.

There exists a global obesity problem that is displayed in Figure #2. We need to do a better job in all our USA communities of helping young, middle-age and seniors reduce the excess body fat. A very simple start to this process of fat reduction is the 20-minute daily walk.

Try a 20 minute walk today and let me know how you feel. I am especially interested in how you look and feel after 1-year!

Send your questions and comments to Dr. Dan Halvorsen at: Halvo018@umn.edu.

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