Resolving to live healthier in 2018? If you’re among the 84.1 million people in the U.S. at high risk for diabetes, resolving to lower that risk may be the best health move you could make.
Diabetes, which affects the way that our bodies process blood sugar, is a dangerous disease in itself, but it can also lead to other serious health issues – like heart disease, stroke and kidney failure. Type 2 diabetes develops most often in people over age 45, but more and more children and teens are affected by the disease.
While some risk factors for diabetes – like genetics or family history – can’t be changed, there is good news. Many cases of Type 2 diabetes, generally caused by being overweight or inactive, can be prevented through a few healthy changes.
Here are five tips that can reduce your diabetes risk and help you kick-start a healthy 2018:
- Exercise regularly. Aim for 30 minutes a day, five times a week. If that seems overwhelming, start slowly and build up to your goal.
- Eat a healthy diet. This should include fiber and whole grains – foods that will help you feel more full and maintain a healthy weight. Read more about how to eat here.
- Drink water, not soft drinks. The excess sugar found in soft drinks and other sugary drinks has been linked not only to diabetes, but also heart disease and obesity.
- If you smoke, try to quit. Smokers are much more likely than nonsmokers to develop diabetes. Get help quitting.
- Have regular health checkups. Warning signs for Type 2 diabetes can be hard to notice, so keep your appointments and talk to your doctor about maintaining a healthy lifestyle.